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The New Arab

Country singer Toby Keith to perform in Riyadh concert

Toby Keith is famous for his songs "Whiskey Girl" and "I love this Bar" [AFP]

Date of publication: 19 May, 2017

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American singer Toby Keith will perform this weekend in a men-only concert in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, alongside traditional lute player Rabeh Saqer.

American country singer Toby Keith, famous for his songs "Whiskey Girl", "Beer for my Horses" and "I love this Bar" is set to perform in an all-men concert in the ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is strictly prohibited.

The singer's planned Riyadh concert on Saturday coincides with Donald Trump's visit to the kingdom. Keith had performed at the US president's inauguration in January.

According to Saudi entertainment site Lammt, the event will be free but is open to men only.

The show will also feature traditional lute player Rabeh Saqer.

Many have taken to social media to express their confusion at the announcement.

"A Trump speech on Islam followed by Rabeh Saqer and freaking Toby Keith. Let's pray they televise this entire disaster," one Twitter user said.

"Toby Keith to perform in Saudi Arabia. This is not The Onion," another user tweeted.

"Toby Keith will be singing about freedom at a concert in Saudi Arabia that women are banned from attending," one user on Twitter noted.

"This is going to be one weird concert," another user predicts.

Saudi Arabia follows strict interpretation of Islamic law. Alcohol is banned and unrelated men and women are segregated in public.

The kingdom has recently loosened the reins on entertainment, including allowing musical concerts that had been banned for the past two decades.

Saudi Arabia hopes to dazzle Trump with a line-up of summits and events this weekend.

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