Janet Jackson and 50 Cent to perform at Saudi Arabia concert boycotted by activists
The artists were pictured on the festival’s website, along with previously scheduled performers including Liam Payne, Tyga, Chris Brown, Steve Aoki, and more. The concert is set to occur on Thursday.
Organizations like the Human Rights Foundation urged Minaj to withdraw from the festival, especially as it is funded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. While his reign has seen progress for women, activists have denounced MBS for his poor track record when it comes to progressive reforms for marginalized groups. Rights for LGBTQ communities, for instance, are not recognized by Saudi Arabia’s government.
“After careful reflection, I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Minaj said in a statement released July 9. “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.”
Recently, artists such as Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, and David Guetta have performed in Saudi Arabia, although not always without objection. BTS recently announced it would bring its tour to the country, and the decision was met with divided reactions from the group’s fans.
EW has reached out to representatives for Jackson, 50 Cent, and Future.