Dubai, UAE: Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that hip-hop star Nicki Minaj will perform in the kingdom.
The female rapper is known for her outlandish, provocative style and hits like ‘Anaconda’. Her lyrics are often laced with profanities and her skin-bearing music videos often include twerking. Christian groups criticised her 2012 Grammy Awards performance, which included dancing priests and an exorcism.
Saudi organisers announced she would be the headline act at the Jeddah World Fest on July 18. The concert, which is in line with Saudi laws is alcohol and drug-free, is open to people 16 and older, and will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city.
Reactions on social media ranged from shock and joy to criticism and disappointment.
Saudi organisers said the concert will be broadcast globally and covered by MTV. Other performers include British artist Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.
Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, rapper Sean Paul, and DJs David Guetta and Tiesto.
Saudi Arabia to host major music festival
Top world stars including Nicki Minaj, Liam Payne and Steve Aoki to headline Jeddah event
Jeddah: Preparations are under way to stage a star-studded live music festival this month in the Saudi city of Jeddah, organisers have said.
The July 18 Jeddah World Fest will feature a galaxy of the world’s top performers including Nicki Minaj, Liam Payne, DJs and Steve Aoki.
The event will be Saudi Arabia’s biggest live music festival as part of the high-profile Jeddah Season Festival. The audience age is restricted to above 16 at the standing-only live show at King Abdullah Sports Stadium, according to organizers.
“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,”
Raed Abuzinadah, the director-general Jeddah Season, said.
“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,” he told a recent press conference.
“This international project is truly special for Jeddah City and for all the young people of Saudi Arabia,” said Robert Quirke, the chairman of the ROQU Media International, the event organiser.
“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,” he added.
In recent months, celebrated Arab and foreign entertainers have performed at sell-out concerts in different Saudi cities as the country is opening up to the world as part of major liberalisation drive.