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Nicki Minaj cancels her Jeddah World Fest performance in Saudi Arabia following backlash

Dayna Haffenden

 // Jul 10, 2019

@nickiminaj // Instagram

Nicki Minaj has decided to cancel her headlining set performance for the Jeddah World Fest in Saudi Arabia.

"After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest," she said to the Associated Press. "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."

Yesterday (July 9), the Queen rapper further explained that she is doing this based out of respect for her fans.

"I'm tired of my fans sending me DM's saying they want to commit suicide," she wrote on Twitter. "You guys will never know the things my fans express to me privately. It would break me if even one of my fans were arrested, or BEATEN for expressing themselves. God is LOVE. NO disrespect to the Saudi govt."

A few days prior, the Human Rights Foundation penned an open letter asking the 36-year-old rapper to reconsider her decision. CEO Thor Halvorssen reasoned that the "Megatron" rapper's performance would create problems.

"If you move forward with this performance for a festival sponsored by the Crown Prince, you will be in league with the people who respond to freedom of expression and thought with murder," he said.

While on Twitter, Minaj reflected on a time she did a performance in Jamaica that resulted in guns being pointed at her by the police. She emphasized that not knowing the rules in one's country could ultimately lead to a negative outcome.

"Ummm for the ppl in the back, I wasn't saying Jamaica doesn't have women's rights," she explained. "I gave an example of what happened in JA to explain how easy it would be to do one thing wrong in Saudia Arabia b/c I'm not aware of every single rule & be locked up. Everyone knows I love JA. STFU."

Do you believe Nicki Minaj made the right choice dropping out of the performance? Look at her tweets explaining her decision below.

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