Janet Jackson in Saudi concert boycotted by Nicki

Brenda Watkins
July 19, 2019

Earlier this month, it was announced that Nicki Minaj would be headlining the Jeddah World Fest in Saudi Arabia, but after fans made her aware of pressing human rights concerns, she chose to drop the performance altogether.

The artistes have been getting a lot of backlash on social media for agreeing to perform in the country notorious for its human rights issues.

Tonight's festival is scheduled to take place at King Abdullah Sports Stadium.

Representatives for Jackson, Brown, 50 Cent, Future and Tyga didn't immediately reply to emails seeking comment. Halvorssen finds it "profoundly distressing that they have chosen money over morals".

Saudi laws have restricted women for decades and although reform is underway, there are still many cases of abuse that have overshadowed, including guardianship laws that have kept them out of public life.

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As the Associated Press reported, the event's website was updated Wednesday to include the well-known entertainers, who joined the roster just days after rapper Nicki Minaj pulled out of Thursday's festival, citing her "support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression". Human rights organizations praised the rapper for her decision.

Minaj - well-known for her provocative, profanity-laced lyrics and skin-baring music videos - pulled out of headlining the concert in a show of solidarity for women's and gay rights in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom.

The country has faced intense global scrutiny over its human rights record since last year's killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul and the ongoing trial of women activists.

"It's a blatant public relations push on the heels of the pre-meditated assassination of a Washington Post columnist and the ongoing imprisonment of dozens of human rights activists", Halvorssen's statement continued.

Over the past few months, Saudi has hosted multiple American artists such as Mariah Carey and the Black Eyed Peas. That's a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music.

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