U.S. rapper Nicki Minaj said on Tuesday that she was pulling out of a concert in Saudi Arabia next week, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.
Homosexuality is banned in Saudi Arabia.
Ms. Minaj was due to headline the Jeddah World Fest music festival on July 18, but her plan to appear was criticized last week on social media.
“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,” she said.
The U.S.-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) last week urged Ms. Minaj to cancel her performance, saying her appearance would be at odds with the rapper’s participation in festivities in New York marking Gay Pride month in June.