Rapper Nicki Minaj to perform in Saudi Arabia this month
Saudi government accused of hypocrisy after announcement by organisers of the Jeddah Season cultural festival.
Rap star Nicki Minaj will perform in Saudia Arabia later this month, organisers of the Jeddah Season cultural festival announced, as the ultraconservative kingdom tries to shed decades of restrictions on entertainment.
Saudi organisers said at a press conference Wednesday that Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj, will headline the festival on July 18.
Minaj is known for her outlandish performances and flamboyant, hyper-sexualised image. Her music videos often feature figure-hugging, skin-bearing outfits and provocative dancing.
Her lyrics are laced with profanities and Minaj’s songs mainly address sex, rumoured liaisons with other rappers and female empowerment. Her famously large posterior is regularly referenced, as is a play on words between her surname and a French term for group sex.
The concert, in line with Saudi laws, will be alcohol and drug-free, open to people 16 and older and will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city.
Saudi Arabia is promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.
Local media reported the headline act, to be televised on MTV, will also feature British musician Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki.
While the announcements for Payne and Aoki posted on the Jeddah Season Twitter account featured photos of the artists, Minaj’s announcement ran with only an animated image of her name.
Her image was used at the press conference on Wednesday, however.