Rod Stewart has disclosed that he declined a sizable sum of money to perform in Saudi Arabia due to the nation’s violations of human rights. Stewart recently stated, “I’m grateful that I have a choice whether or not to perform in Saudi Arabia,” in an interview with the UK daily the Mirror, which he put on Instagram. Women, the LGBTQ community, and the press are just a few of the groups of individuals who have incredibly little options. I hope that by staying home, I might draw attention to the injustices taking place there and spur necessary reform. Rod was determined to do the right thing and couldn’t accept the offer, no matter how much money was on the table, a source close to the 78-year-old singer told the Mirror. Certain things are more crucial.
Although the amount he was paid wasn’t disclosed, the source informed the Mirror that it was “much higher” than the £1 million Stewart turned down to play in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup due to the country’s similarly subpar human rights record. Stewart stated last year to the UK’s Sunday Times, “It’s not right to go.” “And the Iranians ought to be punished as well for providing the weapons.” In Saudi Arabia, engaging in same-sex sexual behavior is forbidden and may result in the death penalty. Additionally, “consistent reports of discrimination and violence” against members of the LGBTQ+ community have been made, according to the Human Rights Watch group. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who dissented the Saudi royal family, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018 is also thought to have involved Saudi officials. Stewart was named a knight in 2016, and he has stated that as a result of the recognition, he has tried to be more deliberate while performing humanitarian gestures.
He stated to the Mirror in 2017 that “I want to be seen to be doing something now.” “I should be using my authority as a knight to do something good for people. If there are people out there who see what I am doing, I am confident that they will also pick up the slack. Other recent charity deeds by Stewart include hiring two additional Ukrainian refugees in his Essex, UK, mansion and renting a house in Berkshire, U.K., for a family that fled their nation due to the war. On the music front, Stewart has two U.S. headlining performances scheduled for early November in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and Laughlin, Nevada. Later that month, he will begin a new run of residency concerts in Las Vegas. To view his whole schedule, go to RodStewart.com.