Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj to perform in Saudi Arabia

Posted at 6:55 AM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 06:55:52-04

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia says hip-hop star Nicki Minaj will be performing there in the latest eye-popping announcement as the kingdom sheds decades of restrictions on entertainment.

The female rapper is known for her outlandish style and hits like “Anaconda.” Her lyrics are often laced with profanities and she was criticized by Christian groups for her 2012 Grammy Awards performance that included dancing priests and an exorcism.

Saudi organizers announced Wednesday she’d be the headline act at the Jeddah World Fest on July 18, which is being broadcast globally and covered by MTV.

To boost tourism and Saudi Arabia’s image, the kingdom is promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.

Such concerts are a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music.