Along with the rest of the UAE, team Grazia were sent into a state of total over excitement at the news that the one and only Nicki Minaj was set to headline Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Music Festival. The first lady of rap taking the stage on our doorstep... how could we not be!?
Obviously people across the world had a fair few opinions about Nicki performing in Saudi Arabia. Many questioned how her revealing outfits and explicit lyrics would go over in the kingdom. Others, including the Human Rights Foundation, were outraged at her decision to perform due in a country often perceived as having a regressive attitude towards women. So, Nicki Minaj pulled out which, unless you've literally been asleep for the past 48 hours, you'll know already.
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#mercuaryretrograde must be in full force Bc the country that the misinformed Ms. Minaj claims to be against women's rights just had our FEMALE ambassador to the US posing right next to YOUR president one day ago The same country is in the process of dropping its guardianship laws The same country where any type of sexual harassment is immediately CRIMINALIZED So maybe next time a celebrity decides to make a highly publicized gesture, she should do some research about the progressive changes happening to the #Kingdom and instead commend our forward movement... #SaudiGoingPlaces : #PrincessReemaBintBandar #MadamAmbassador at the White House, saudi female tournament , and a conservative woman driving #NickiMinaj #SaudiArabia #NickiMinajConcert #Concert #Jeddah #JeddahSeasons #MTVFestival #KSA #SaudiArabia #SaudiWomen #WomenRights الدولة اللي حكت #نيكي_مناج عن انعدام حقوقها استقبلت سفيرتها السعودية عند رئيس دولتهم قبل يوم فس الدولة اللي تدرس اسقاط الولاية عن القاصرين بعمر ا و نفس الدولة اللي تعتبر اي نوع من أنواع التحرش جريمة المرة الجاية احد مشاهير المجال تقرر تدخل نفسها في دراما غير لازمة من اجل الصحافة، تعمل بحث بسيط عشان تعرف حقيقة دولتنا، وبدل ان تقلل من قيمتها، تشجع تطورها المستمر! احبة السمو الأميرة #ريما_بنت_بندر_بن_سلطان كسفيرة السعودية للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، بطولة سيدات ، و قيادة المرأة #السعودية #جده #رؤية_٢٠٣٠ #موسم_جده #سعوديين #سعوديات #اسقاط_الولايه #حقوق
But was she right to do so? On the very same day Saudi Arabia's female ambassador to the US was pictured posing next to President Donald Trump. Given his well documented appalling behaviour towards women, the irony of that is quite something.
Princess Reema bint Bandar is the first female ambassador to the US appointed in the history of the kingdom. The daughter of a former longtime ambassador to the US, she has been a leading advocate of female empowerment in the kingdom and a pivotal figure in Saudi Arabia granting women the right to drive.
When explaining her decision to pull out, Nicki stated that "while (she) wants 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." But was pulling out of her performance actually supporting the rights of her millions of female fans in the kingdom? We're not sure...
Photos: Supplied and Instagram