State-Controlled Media Claims Nicki Minaj’s Gig was Cancelled by Saudi Authorities

Published July 11th, 2019 - 12:21 GMT

After being pressured by human rights campaigners, American rapper Nicki Minaj announced on Tuesday night she is canceling her scheduled concert in Saudi Arabia to support women rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.

A report by the Associated Press cited Minaj confirming she decided to cancel her gig after “educating” herself on Saudi Arabia and the human rights violations committed in it.

“While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia… I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression.”

Meanwhile, the Saudi media had another take on the story.

According to several Saudi newspapers, the General Authority for Entertainment is the one who had canceled Minaj’s concert as she is “not compatible with the kind of concerts allowed in the Kingdom”.

Saudi newspaper Okaz, reported Minaj’s concert was canceled in Saudi Arabia in accordance with official directives because she “violates” Saudi customs and values.

The news sparked controversy and massive reactions in Saudi Arabia.

While the rapper’s fans expressed disappointment that she no longer will perform in the Kingdom, many went to defend their country.

Others went to demand refunds as tickets were reportedly sold out.

Meanwhile, some suspicious accounts believed to be run by electronic bots were seen sharing similar tweets attacking Minaj.

Earlier last week, organisers of the Jeddah Season announced rapper star Nicki Minaj will perform in the country as part of the cultural festival on July 18, 2019.

This comes at a time the ultraconservative Kingdom has been trying to loosen restrictions on entertainment under the claimed social reforms by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


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