AceShowbiz - Justin Bieber has finally decided to perform in Saudi Arabia. However, the "Peaches" hitmaker chose to remain silent on his performance on social media as many urged him to cancel his show due to the "ongoing suffering" of the Saudi people.
On Sunday, December 5, the 27-year-old crooner hit the F1 Grand Prix stage which took place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. In videos surfacing online, he appeared to be quite excited about the show. For the event, he sang several of his songs, including "Deserve You", "Somebody" and "Hold On".
Justin didn't fly to Saudi alone. The "Where Are U Now" singer, who rocked a Balenciaga red jersey and matching pants, was accompanied by his wife Hailey Baldwin. The 25-year-old catwalk beauty was masked up and wearing a hat, seemingly trying to go incognito.
Prior to his show, Justin was urged to call it off. On November 21, the "Yummy" hitmaker was publicly called out in ads plastered on drive-by billboards that were seen cruising around the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, where the 2021 American Music Awards was being held.
Justin was put on blast as his image was seen next to the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The ads also called for the "Cold Water" artist to end the alleged "association." One ad read, "Bieber, Your Saudi Boss Murders Journalists. Do the Right Thing, Cancel!"
In the meantime, another stated, "It's Not Too Late Now to Say Sorry. Don't Sing for Saudi Arabia's Dictator!" A separate message continued to blast him as saying, "Justin, Don't Be a Pawn for Saudi Killers."
The public call-out came after Human Rights Foundation's chairman Garry Kasparov and CEO Thor Halvorssen issued an open letter to Justin, in which they begged the singer to call off his gig "as a symbol of solidarity with the ongoing suffering of the Saudi people." They also cited the country's barbaric treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and women in their message as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been accused of multiple human rights violations in the past.
"We are writing to urgently inform you of the human rights crisis in Saudi Arabia, to explain the role that the regime of MBS [Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] has played in violating the rights of tens of millions of Saudis," Garry and Thor wrote in the letter dated November 2. They went on to ask the "Stay" hitmaker to "consider the unfortunate implications of your engagement with the brutal dictatorship of MBS."
Garry and Thor went on to add, "To respectfully request that, in light of your status as a global personality, you take this opportunity to positively influence human rights policy in Saudi Arabia by canceling your appearance." They also claimed that Saudi Arabia's monarchy "is happy" to throw money at entertainers in order to cover up their abuse of power.
"The Saudi regime is happy to pay large sums to international celebrities to give the Kingdom a veneer of respectability," the message concluded. "As long as the human rights violations occurring within Saudi Arabia are never mentioned."