Nicki Minaj poses with her awards during the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards at Bilbao Exhibition Centre and Joss Stone performs during the final day of the Rock in Rio USA concert in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(photo credit: SERGIO PEREZ AND L.E. BASKOW/REUTERS)
It has been an eventful week for American performers in the Middle East, as the provocative rapper Nicki Minaj announced her plans to perform in the conservative Saudi Arabia and singer-songwriter Joss Stone announced that she had been kicked out of Iran despite promising the country she would not perform.
In a post on Instagram, singer Joss Stone says she “got detained” and then “got deported” from the Islamic Republic.
Stone, 32, who currently on a world tour, wrote in the Instagram post that she does not “fancy going to an Iranian prison,” and “nor am I trying to change the politics of the countries I visit.”
The singer went on to say she was visiting the country on a “mission, to bring good feeling with what I have to give and show those who want to look, the positives of our globe.”
The extremist Iranian regime forbids women to perform publicly in the country, a fact Stone said she was aware of. “We were aware there couldn’t be a public concert as I am a woman, and that is illegal in this country.”
“However, it seems the authorities don’t believe we wouldn’t be playing a public show so they have popped us on what they call the ‘blacklist’, as we found out when we turned up to the immigration hall.”
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So , our very last country on the list was Iran . We were aware there couldn’t be a public concert as I am a woman and that is illegal in this country. Personally I don’t fancy going to an Iranian prison nor am I trying to change the politics of the countries I visit nor do I wish to put other people in danger. However, it seems the authority’s don’t believe we wouldn’t be playing a public show so they have popped us on what they call the ‘black list ‘ as we found out when we turned up to the immigration hall. After long discussions with the most friendly charming and welcoming immigration people the decision was made to detain us for the night and to deport us in the morning. Of course I was gutted. So close yet so far, this moment broke a little piece of my heart. Then I realised the silver lining was bright. I told them my story and explained my mission, to bring good feeling with what I have to give and show those who want to look, the positives of our globe. All with the understanding that public performance wasn’t an option in this scenario. I still have to walk forward towards that goal some way some how. And of course music is my driver. Doesn’t mean we have to brake any laws though. There is music everywhere. Even here, we just have to play by there rules and they have to believe we will. It’s a trust thing. They were so kind to us, at one point I started to question it. The question whirled around my head, were they just luring is into a false sense of security so we would walk into our jail cells quietly with out a drama? Nope , these people are genuinely nice kind people that felt bad that they couldn’t over ride the system. They didn’t speak English so well so the translator Mohamed, who clearly had a lovely soul conveyed the message that they hoped we would go to embassy to sort it all out and come back, they were refusing us entry with a heavy heart and were so sorry. After Mo had left, the officers kept telling us sorry. They said sorry all the way through this process and kept saying this till we got on the plane they were sending us away on. We were the ones that should have been apologising for not having our correct paper work. The ball
She continued: “After long discussions with the most friendly, charming and welcoming immigration people, the decision was made to detain us for the night and to deport us in the morning. Of course I was gutted. So close yet so far; this moment broke a little piece of my heart.”
Joss Stone is not alone in wanting to perform in the Arab world; ‘Jeddah World Fest’ organizers in Saudi Arabia announced this week that rapper Nicki Minaj will be performing in Saudi Arabia on July 18.
Saudi Arabia has loosened its restrictions on entertainment in recent years, following the accent to power of reformist Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) in the conservative kingdom.
Minaj is known for her provocative lyrics and videos, rapping things like "d**k bigger than a tower, I ain't talking about Eiffel's," and in her latest hit, "Megatron," "I f*** him like I miss him."
The rapper is also known for her revealing clothes, sexually explicit performances and catchy tunes, all of which prompted confusion about her performing in the religious Muslim country across the internet.
The “international music festival” will take place on July 18, with acts such as Liam Payne and Steve Aoki joining Minaj at the event.
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