Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Nicki Minaj pulls out of Saudi Arabia performance

The female rapper was scheduled to appear at Jeddah World Fest on July 18 along with Liam Payne and Steve Aoki

Nicki Minaj will no longer perform in Saudi Arabia. AP
Nicki Minaj will no longer perform in Saudi Arabia. AP

Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj has pulled out of her performance in Saudi Arabia.

Minaj was scheduled to appear at Jeddah World Fest on July 18, alongside Liam Payne and EDM star Steve Aoki.

However, the event announcement prompted backlash in the kingdom, as Saudi women questioned whether Minaj's outfits and lyrics were appropriate. She also faced calls from activists outside the country to cancel her appearance.

"After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest," the singer said in a statement.

Cake-throwing EDM superstar Steve Aoki, and Liam Payne, of One Direction fame, are still set to perform at the concert.

Jeddah World Fest, an outdoor festival and a standing-room-only event for those over the age of 16, will be at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium Jeddah on Thursday, July 18. Doors will open at 7.30pm and the first performer will be on stage at 9.30pm.

There will be accessible viewing areas for those with special requirements, including those in wheelchairs. If you need special assistance, first purchase a ticket for yourself and then contact Sharek to arrange for a free ticket for your carer.

Along with Minaj's appearance, Jeddah Season announced K-pop boy band Super Junior were another addition to the flurry of summer gigs they are organising.

The band is made up of 13 members and are one of the earliest K-pop groups to find success: they were formed in 2005. Their performance is on Friday, July 12.

MInaj is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished rappers of the 21st century. She has performed in the UAE before, and when she stopped by Dubai during her 2016 Pink Print World Tour, she had this to say to the crowd: “I didn’t think Dubai would be this turnt up."

Payne was the last of the One Direction band to launch his solo career, and his string of immensely listenable singles last year forced even the most cynical of listeners to reappraise his skills. "I had to get the mental balance right, and once I did that, everything just felt clearer," Payne told us last year, discussing why he took his time before launching his solo career.

Updated: July 10, 2019 09:23 AM

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