50 Cent and Future Among Artists Who'll Perform at Controversial Saudi Arabia Concert

Nicki Minaj backed out of the gig earlier this month, following backlash from multiple human rights organizations.

50 Cent

Image via Getty/Ross Gilmore/Redferns

50 Cent

About one week after Nicki Minaj pulled out of the Jeddah World Fest in Saudi Arabia, event organizers announced an updated lineup that included a slew of big-name acts. The participating artists will reportedly include 50 Cent, Tyga, Future, Chris Brown, and Janet Jackson.

Nicki canceled her Jeddah World Fest performance after mounting backlash from human rights organizations that have criticized the Saudi government's authoritarian regime. Many fans urged Nicki to call off the gig, as her music and persona would be at odds with the country's ultraconservative policies. Activists also informed Nicki about Saudi Arabia's discriminatory laws against women and members of the LGBT community.

"After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest," the Queen rapper announced last week. "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."

Other artists have not followed in Nicki's footsteps and have decided to perform at the controversial concert this Thursday at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium. Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen criticized the participating acts, stating it is "profoundly distressing that they have chosen money over morals."

"These individuals constantly make public statements of support for LGBT rights and women's rights, except, apparently, when a seven-figure check is attached," Halvorseen told the Associated Press. "The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Principal apparently matters to them far more than principles."

Other artists who are scheduled to perform at Jeddah World Fest include Steve Aoki, R3wire and Varski MC, and Liam Payne of One Direction. 

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