"The Jeddah World Fest is funded and authorized by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), one of the world's worst human rights violators", the statement reads. Organizers have shared some of the names who will be performing at the festival, including Liam Payne and Steve Aoki.
Minaj was initially booked to headline the concert on July 18, but backed out to support the human rights struggle in the middle east country, where gender segregation is still enforced in many restaurants and institutions.
Considering Saudi Arabia's traditional cultural treatment of women, and Minaj's then-secret encounter with Jamaican police, it's obvious Minaj didn't want to risk a similar encounter in at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in Jeddah during the Jeddah World Fest.
The US-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) had earlier urged Minaj to back out from the festival, saying her appearance would be a lost cause since she supported the festivities in NY marking Gay Pride month in June. "Human rights advocates should be grateful for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime's transparent attempt to use her for a public relations stunt and for standing up for LGBTQ+ and women's rights".
Minaj is not the first performer to cause controversy by accepting an invitation to perform in Saudi Arabia. "We hope he and his managers choose morals over money".
Additionally, the New York City native further explained her decision on social media.
Do you believe Nicki Minaj made the right choice dropping out of the performance?
Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, David Guetta and Tiesto.
Saudi organizers said the Jeddah World Fest will be broadcast globally.
Saudi Arabia saw profound change previous year as a result of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's top-down reform efforts, including the opening of the first movie theater and the lifting of the world's only ban on women driving.