Mariah Carey shakes off boycott calls for her Saudi concert

Carey at the the 75th Golden Globe Awards, 2018. (PHOTO: MGN)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Mariah Carey is performing in Saudi Arabia for the first time, but there’s a growing chorus of Saudi women calling on her to cancel the concert in support of detained women’s rights activists.

It’s a dilemma that other celebrities could face as they ink multimillion dollar deals to perform in Saudi Arabia.

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Carey is the highest-profile star to perform in the kingdom since it began loosening decades of restrictions on entertainment, music and fun as part of a push by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to overhaul the economy and transform society.

But activists say her concert on Thursday evening is an attempt by the government to polish its image after the Oct. 2 killing of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.