Rapper Nelly's planned Saudi gig sparks social media stir

FILE- In this March 13, 2015 file photo, rapper Nelly approaches the stage for a concert in Irbil, northern Iraq. Nelly is to perform at a male-only concert on Dec. 14 2017, in Saudi Arabia, but his planned concert in the ultraconservative country is not being welcomed by everyone. Some Saudis on social media are pointing to the American rapper's 2015 guilty plea for possession of marijuana, while others say it's disgraceful in light of a rape accusation against the rapper. (AP Photo/Seivan M. Salim, File)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Rapper Nelly is to perform in Saudi Arabia next month, but his planned concert in the ultraconservative kingdom is not being welcomed by everyone.

Some Saudis on social media are pointing to the American rapper's 2015 guilty plea for possession of marijuana. Smuggling drugs is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia and possession of drugs is also a crime.

Others say it's disgraceful that Saudi Arabia's new Entertainment Authority is officially sponsoring the male-only concert on Dec. 14 in light of a rape accusation against the rapper.

The Grammy-winning rapper was briefly arrested last month after a woman said he raped her on his tour bus. A week later, the woman dropped her pursuit of criminal charges. Nelly was never charged with a crime.

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