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Nicki Minaj cancels Saudi Arabia concert to show support for women and LGBTQ community

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Nicki Minaj on red carpet
Nicki will no longer perform in Saudi Arabia (Picture: Getty, Instagram, Nicki Minaj)

Nicki Minaj has pulled out of an upcoming concert in Saudi Arabia, stating that she wants to support women and the LGBTQ community.

The Super Bass rapper was due to perform at the Jeddah World Fest on 18 July alongside Liam Payne and DJ Steve Aoki, both of whom are still scheduled to perform.

After weeks of pressure to cancel her appearance, Nicki responded to the growing backlash on Tuesday and announced she will no longer perform.

In a statement released to the Associated Press, the 36-year-old rapper explained: 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.

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Jeddah World Fest, which is strictly alcohol and drug-free in line with Saudi laws, is set to take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium.

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Gender segregation in Saudi Arabia is enforced in many restaurants, public schools and coffee shops. But recently, some rules have been relaxed such as allowing women to drive cars.

Nicki Minaj on red carpet
The rapper says she supports freedom of expression (Picture: FilmMagic)
Liam Payne performing
Liam is still scheduled to perform (Picture: Rex Features)

The Human Rights Foundation have welcomed Nickis decision to pull out of the show and said they hope former One Direction singer Liam follows suit.

In their own statement, the foundations president Thor Halvorssen said: This is what leadership looks like.

More: Nicki Minaj

We are grateful to Nicki Minaj for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regimes transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt.

The July 18 festival in Saudi Arabia still shows Liam Payne as a performer. We hope that he follows Nicki Minajs lead.

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