Erykah Badu has always been a bit of a strange bird and has never backed away from controversy.
The singer, who once walked naked down the streets of Dallas, Texas has apparently rubbed religious groups in Kuala Lampour the wrong way after being photographed with religious symbols covering her body.
The Star published the photograph of Badu with two tattoos with the Arabic word for ‘Allah’, or God, in their Star2 entertainment section earlier this week and afterwards, Malay groups opposed allowing the R&B singer to perform in thier country.
Several Muslim groups in Malaysia consider the word ‘Allah’ sacred and have protested the use of the word by non-Muslims in the past. Tattooing is similarly taboo.
Erykah’s racy photo even bought the managing editor of the mag a phone call from Malaysia’s Home Ministry, who also called the chief news editor and senior editor of the Star asking them all to explain why they published the picture.
The Star eventually published an apology, stating:
A photograph of American singer Erykah Badu with tattoos of various symbols, including the Arabic word for Allah, was inadvertently published in Star2 today.
We sincerely apologise to Muslim readers for this oversight.
Badu’s concert was originally scheduled for tonight (February 28, 2012), but the outcry over her “tattoo controversy” has caused her performance to be banned!
According to MSN, Erykah’s Malaysian trip may just be an expensive shopping excursion after the Minister of Information, Datuk Seri Utama Rais Yatim announced today that her scheduled performance has been officially cancelled.
Rais even posted a tweet on his account (writtin in Malay) and reported that Badu’s concert was canceled for ‘touching on religious sensitivities’ and failing to meet ‘Malaysian cultural values’ as well as guidelines set by PUSPAL, the central agency for application for filming and performance by foreign artistes.
One thing’s for sure about Ms. Badu, she certainly keeps her name in the news.