At a news conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia earlier today Erykah Badu delivered a statement to the effect that, as the Associated Press reported, “she holds no grudge against Malaysia’s government for barring her from performing after a photograph of her body art offended some Muslims.” After a long period of silence during which her only communication was a quote saying she was “worried and dismayed” and a tweet of “I deserve it,” Ms. Badu shared some of her feelings on twitter last night, including many RTs of some of the 1,500 fans who had purchased tickets to see her perform at the cancelled concert showing their support online–a flurry of digital activity which caused her name to trend globally overnight.

Although many of her Malaysian fans expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s action (seen by some as a political stunt in an election year) Badu told the assembled reporters that even though “It’s sad, because we traveled a long way…I’m totally understanding of (Malaysian Information Minister Rais Yatim’s) protection of the laws and its people. He doesn’t want anything to happen. I’m good with that.” She went on to say:

I think art is often misunderstood in the realm of religion, and it’s OK. In America, it’s a lot different. Art is also misunderstood but it is not such a harsh gesture to promote the names of God. I am learning and understanding about Islam in other countries more as we travel.

Indeed, in addition to stating that she “absolutely” welcomed another opportunity to perform in Malaysia, Badu is scheduled to perform at a jazz festival this weekend in Jakarta, the capital of neighboring Indonesia–which also happens to be the world’s most populous Muslim nation.


  • kolintang

    i KNEW Malaysia wanted to see her.

    • Jza

      All news is good news , can you imagine how fast the next show will sell out, they WILL see her and more will be at the next one ! This kind of discussion is what is needed to get people talking about real issues; less oppression by governments and perhaps less naivety on behalf of american tourists !! hhee hee Tattoos are for the military parade no?? or branded cattle, i’m personally not a fan of body art and not herded … I love soul music , so lets just listen and stop self harming , that includes alcohol … america is a young country , wise up and travel with your head bowed, is my advice !!!
      Big Love to Badu ~ Evolving !

  • dul

    Well that’s a strong position from a strong woman…wtf! She shouldn’t apologies to anyone, isn’t she a proud convicted soldier of free speech and more generaly freedom, especially in the field of art anymore??

  • Mila

    I am confused about when she had the body art. Did she have it on her then or did someone just pull up a photo fromt he past? I do think an apology was needed considering that every country does not honor nor practice freedom of speech. You have to respect other countries and and there people because that’s why people will continue to respect you.

    • Just to clarify the “tattoo” in question was temporary body paint applied specifically for that photo which was a promo/LP package image for her LP New Amerykah 2: Return of the Ankh. It was edited for the official flyer circulated in Malaysia but a Malaysian english-language newspaper published an unedited version downloaded from her official fan site.