Mariah Carey Pushes Aside Women's Rights Groups and Performs in Saudi ArabiaDespite multiple calls for the concert’s cancelation, Mariah Carey made history performing in Saudi Arabia.

Mariah Carey has performed in Saudi Arabia, despite growing calls for the pop singer to cancel her concert.  The concert took place at King Abdullah Economic City, just two hours shy of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

Her scheduled performance took place amidst fierce criticism from multiple women’s rights activists.  The groups called on Carey to show support for detained women in the country.

The concert also comes just months after Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.   The assassination was strongly tied to Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Separately, the crown prince has attempted to overhaul the country’s economy.  The General Entertainment Authority has vowed more major performances and sports events in the country.

Speaking with the Associated Press, Carey’s publicists said,

[When] presented with the offer to perform for an international and mixed gender audience in Saudi Arabia, Mariah accepted the opportunity as a positive step towards the dissolution of gender segregation.

As the first female international artist to perform in Saudi Arabia, Mariah recognizes the cultural significance of this event and will continue to support global efforts towards equality for all.

Disappointed with Carey’s refusal to cancel her performance, CodePink has confirmed the launch of a new campaign.  Dubbed ‘Boycott Saudi Arabia,’ the group will push for musicians, artists, businesses, think tanks, and universities to boycott, divest, and sever all ties to the Saudi regime.

Speaking about the goal of the campaign, Ariel Gold, the group’s National Co-Director, stated,

Like the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign for Palestinian rights, which has inspired numerous artists like Lorde and Lana Del Rey to cancel concerts in Israel, I think CODEPINK’s Boycott Saudi Arabia campaign will have a significant impact in ending Saudi repression and war crimes.

Carey and her PR team have largely ignored these calls.  Tickets for the sold-out show ranged between $80 and $530.


Featured image by KWSW (CC by 2.0).