Rod Stewart And Dua Lipa Refused To Sing At The World Cup In Qatar
Rod Stewart and Dua Lipa, two of the world's best-known and loved singers, decided not to perform at the World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar.
Some may wonder what the reason is, given that artists generally don't turn down opportunities like this.
Singing at the World Cup opening ceremony - a globally watched event - can do wonders for an artist's career.
However, Rod Stewart and Dua Lipa's decision to skip the event has to do with systematic discrimination against women as well as the high rate of recent fatalities among migrant workers on building projects in Qatar.
Rod Stewart Says A Big Fat "NO"
Sir Rod Stewart claimed to have been offered "over $1 million, to play there 15 months ago", but turned it down because of the well-reported political upheaval in the nation.
"It's not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms [to Russia]," he continued, according to Marca.com.
Dua Lipa Took The Same Decision
One of the most well-known female singers in the world, Dua Lipa, has also refuted rumors that she will take the stage in Qatar for the World Cup opening ceremony.
Dua Lipa shared a statement on Instagram after news sources linked her to the event, writing:
"There is currently a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar. I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform."
In addition, The Guardian reported that Dua Lipa, born in London to parents from Kosovo, said she would only perform there if that nation did better in protecting human rights.
"I will be cheering England on from afar and I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup," Dua Lipa added.
Different Moral Values
The upcoming football tournament has been dogged by controversy.
Although Rod Stewart and Dua Lipa decided to make a significant gesture to raise the alarm about the human rights situation in Qatar, not all artists or other personalities have decided to do the same.
During the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, there will be concerts with personalities such as Black Eyed Peas, Post Malone, Robbie Williams, Maroon 5, Major Lazer, Fatboy Slim, and David Guetta.
And despite criticism from celebrities like British comedian Joe Lycett regarding the sponsorship arrangements, Qatar has paid athletes like David Beckham to serve as paid ambassadors for the World Cup.
Also, the players for England under manager Gareth Southgate reportedly want to protest human rights abuses while competing.
Example For Others
However, Rod Stewart and Dua Lipa's gesture could inspire other artists in the future, whose stance on issues such as human rights can help enormously in publicizing serious issues that may be ignored or downplayed by the media.
The two singers show us that money isn't the most important thing in the world and that totalitarian regimes that don't respect the rights of their citizens shouldn't be legitimized by sporting or cultural events.
It is possible that a similar act by celebrities like Rod Stewart and Dua Lipa during the 2008 Summer Olympics or the 2022 Winter Olympics, both of which were hosted by China, could have raised awareness of the atrocities committed by the communist regime against Christians, Uyghurs, Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, and supporters of democracy and freedom.
Pictures Credit: Rod Stewart / Twitter, Dua Lipa / Twitter, Construction progress of the World Cup 2022 Stadiums in Qatar (YouTube Screenshot)