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Nicki Minaj Cancels Saudi Arabian Gig to Support Women, LGBTQ People

Nicki Minaj

Money is not enough to make rapper perform for homophobic Saudi regime.

Rapper Nicki Minaj has decided to make a big political statement by deciding to leave a Saudi Arabian music festival.

The "Megatron" singer has canceled her headlining appearance at Jeddah World Fest, citing her support of women's and LGBTQ rights.

The rapper previously planned to head up the festival line-up with a performance on July 18, but the announcement she would play in a country with a long history of enforcing Sharia law to punish homosexuals angered many activists.

"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," Minaj said in a statement to the Associated Press.

The cancellation came after the Human Rights Foundation called on Minaj to steer clear of the Saudi regime, "one of the world's worst human rights violators."

"What is Nicki Minaj thinking? How does she participate at World Pride one week and then hop on a jet to collect millions from a regime that beheaded five gay men this past April?" said HRF president and founder Thor Halvorssen.

"There is no good reason for Minaj to do business with the Saudi dictatorship. If she proceeds with the show, she will be whitewashing the vast array of human rights crimes committed by MBS including torture, rape, extrajudicial assassination, and the slaughter of innocent civilians."

Festival organizers say refunds will be provided to Minaj fans.

"Unfortunately Nicki Minaj has cancelled her live performance at Jeddah World Fest on July 18th due to personal reasons," reads a statement posted on Jeddah World Fest's Instagram account. "Ticket refunds will offered if desired. Please note the second wave of performers will be announced this week."

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