Nicki Minaj Pulls Out of Saudi Arabia Concert in Support of Women and LGBTQ Community

The rapper will no longer headline Jeddah World Fest

July 9, 2019

By Tiana Timmerberg

Nicki Minaj was set for a July 18 concert in Saudi Arabia. After learning more about the country and doing some reflection on her upcoming Jeddah World Fest headlining slot, the “Chun-Li” rapper has chosen to pull out in favor of human rights.

Minaj released a statement explaining her cancelled appearance to The Associated Press.

"After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest. While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression," she said.

Jeddah World Fest is set to feature appearances from Steve Aoki and Liam Payne.

Minaj’s decision comes in light of Saudi Arabian laws that allow gender segregation between women and men to be enforced in certain locations. Along with laws that lessen women’s rights, same sex relationships are also illegal. While the law preventing women from being able to drive was lifted in 2018, their LGBTQ laws are still considered some of the most restrictive in the world.