US rapper Nicki Minaj will perform in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah this month, organizers said, as the Kingdom loosens decades-old restrictions on entertainment.
Minaj will perform on July 18, organizers of the ongoing Jeddah Season cultural festival announced on Twitter on Tuesday.
The headline act, to be televised on MTV, will also feature British musician Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki, local media reported.
The performances come as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pursues a sweeping liberalization drive that has led to new cinemas, concerts, and sporting extravaganzas.
The news was widely welcomed in a country where two-thirds of the population is under 30, with one Twitter user posting a picture of Minaj and writing: “My dream has come true”.
But it also triggered outrage from conservative quarters.
“She is going to go and shake her backside and all her songs are about sex... and then everyone tells me to wear the abaya. What the hell!” one woman said in a video posted on Twitter.
The Kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority said it plans to pump $64 billion into the sector in the coming decade.