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Nicki Minaj may have pulled out of Saudi Arabia’s “Jeddah World Fest,” but apparently, other huge American artists are slated to play at the controversial event.

According to the festival’s website, Janet Jackson, Future, Tyga, 50 Cent, and Chris Brown will all be playing at the festival.

The fest takes place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium today (July 18). Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation has criticized the new list of artists who are set to perform at the event.

He said that it was “profoundly distressing that they have chosen money over morals,” when he spoke with the Associated Press. Halvorssen also sent a lengthy letter to Minaj, who eventually dropped out of the show.

“These individuals constantly make public statements of support for LGBT rights and women’s rights, except, apparently, when a seven-figure check is attached. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Principal apparently matters to them far more than principles,” Halvorssen said.

Jackson, Future, Tyga, 50 Cent, and Brown joins previously announced performers Steve Aoki and Liam Payne. Representatives from the five urban acts haven’t responded to the hoopla.

“It’s clear that, after losing Nicki Minaj on the basis of Saudi regime’s atrocious human rights record and their treatment of women and the gay community, the Crown Prince [Mohammed bin Salman] has chosen to spend whatever it takes to give the appearance that things are normal and that this is just another music concert. Except it isn’t,” Halvorssen concluded in his statement.

Saudi Arabia is known for its conservatism as well as the repressive treatment of women and minorities. There’s been a huge initiative to improve the conditions in the country since it’s been under Salman’s reign.


Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.