Human rights activists and campaigners called for the singer to cancel his performance as a protest against the harsh treatment it has given its critics
Justin Bieber performed on Sunday night in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), in front of a large crowd.
Despite human rights activists and activists urging him to cancel his appearance at Formula One, the Canadian pop star, aged 27, did not cancel his appearance.
Hailey Baldwin Bieber was Bieber’s wife and model. She posted an Instagram video of her husband on stage with the words “Go Baby!” Bieber was also seen on social media wearing a coordinated red outfit and standing alone on the stage. Jason Derulo, a pop and R&B singer, performed before Bieber in a solo performance wearing a sweatshirt and baggy tops.
This scene would have been unimaginable in Saudi Arabia a few years back, where ultraconservative norms ruled. Unmarried women and men were separated in public places and concerts were prohibited. The sweeping changes are being made by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who works to modernize society and attract foreign investment.
Human Rights Watch and others have however called for celebrities to boycott the Kingdom, claiming that such events are designed to divert attention from Saudi Arabia’s human right record.
Bieber was the most well-known performer on the stage during Saudi Arabia’s Grand Prix. This saw Lewis Hamilton win, the final race in the Formula One season.
Canadian pop star, Canadian Pop Star, has not spoken out on the public pressure and calls for him cancelling the show. The fiancee of the murdered Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi joined the chorus of voices calling for him to not perform at Saudi Arabia’s F1 race.
Hatice Cengiz, a megastar, had asked the Washington Post to cancel her performance in order to send a strong message to the world “sending a powerful message that your name will not be used for a regime that kills critics.” Hatice Cengiz noted that Bieber’s invitation to the F1 race was made “directly” by the crown prince.
Like other stars like Mariah carey in 2019, Bieber performed to the delight of his fans. It is not clear how much celebrities were paid for appearances in the Kingdom. These concerts are attended mainly by Saudi youth, who enjoy the country’s social changes.
Prince Mohammed was spotted taking selfies with young Saudi men as he attended the F1 race. Although the F1 race was the first major sporting event hosted by the kingdom, it also hosted the less well-known Formula-E race in an effort to increase the country’s popularity as a tourist destination.
The crown prince was being praised for changing the lives of many people in the country at the time Khashoggi was killed in 2018. Khashoggi was writing columns for The Washington Post, drawing attention to the prince’s bold foreign policy moves, and simultaneous crackdown against activists and perceived critics. This included writers and economists as well as women’s rights activists.
A team of Saudi agents working for the crown prince killed Khashoggi during a visit at the Saudi Consulate Istanbul to get papers to marry his Turkish fiancée.
The U.S. intelligence assessment, made public by President Joe Biden, determined that the crown prince had approved the operation. Prince Mohammed claimed that he did not know of the operation.
Bieber’s concert is in Saudi Arabia just before he begins a worldwide tour next year. Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, is promoting the tour. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is managed by Prince Mohammed, is one of the largest institutional investors in Live Nation with a stake that amounts to $1.4 billion.