Nicki Minaj to perform in ultra-conservative state of Saudi Arabia and the morality police is triggered - The Sauce
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Nicki Minaj to perform in ultra-conservative state of Saudi Arabia and the morality police is triggered

Nicki Minaj is set to headline a music festival in Saudi Arabia.

The 36-year-old rapper will perform at the Jeddah World Fest on July 18 at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city alongside other international acts such as Liam Payne and DJ Steve Aoki.

The event – which will be Saudi Arabia’s biggest live music festival as part of the high-profile Jeddah Season Festival – will be broadcast globally and covered by MTV.

The festival will be in keeping with Saudi laws meaning it will be alcohol and drug-free, open to those aged 16 and older and women attending will be required to wear a full-length robe known as the abaya. However, her performance scheduled to take place in the Middle Eastern state is not seating well with everyone. Many have pointed out that her racy attire and lewd lyrics could usher in immorality to an otherwise religious nation.

The ‘Anaconda’ hitmaker is known for flesh-flashing style and risqué performances – one of which was criticized by Christian groups in 2012 after she took to the stage at the Grammy Awards with dancing priests and performed a mock exorcism.

Saudi laws have recently allowed women to drive and attend events in sports stadiums, however, in many restaurants, coffee shops, public schools, and universities gender segregation is still enforced between single men and women. A report on Aljazeera reported, “over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by singers including Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas and Sean Paul, as well as DJs David Guetta and Tiesto. Such concerts are a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music.

Raed Abuzinadah, the Director General for Jeddah Season, previously said of the event: “This is the largest musical festival of its kind in the region that will be broadcast to a global audience in more than 100 countries. There is a stereotype of the kingdom all over the world, and today it is disappearing. In its place is a new picture of the kingdom that accepts everyone.”

Robert Quirke, the chairman of the ROQU Media International, the event organizer, added: “This international project is truly special for Jeddah City and for all the young people of Saudi Arabia. This is the first global music festival of this scale in KSA and is sure to absolutely wow the lucky audience in Jeddah like never before.”

Other performers confirmed for the Jeddah World Fest include Liam Payne and DJ Steve Aoki.


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