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Erykah Badu banned from performing in Malaysia

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Erykah Badu

© WENN

Erykah Badu has been banned from performing in Malaysia.

A picture of the neo-soul singer published in a local newspaper prompted the ban, reports The AP.

In the picture, which is also featured on Badu's fan website, she appears with the word "Allah" written on her bare shoulders in Arabic. Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim nation, and the photo provoked an outcry from the Muslim community.

Badu had a scheduled performance this Wednesday (February 29) in the Malaysian capitol Kuala Lumpur, but government officials placed a ban on her after the photos surfaced in English-language newspaper The Star.

Information Minister Rais Yatim said in a statement that Badu's body art is "an insult to Islam and a very serious offense". He added that allowing Badu to perform would cause a "negative impact to the government's image".

The 41-year-old was due to perform in front of up to 3,000 audience members. She is reportedly "worried and dismayed" at the decision.

Badu is the first American artist in several years to be banned from a performance in Malaysia, though artists like Lady GaGa have also run into trouble with the Malaysian government. Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani were ordered in the past by government officials to dress modestly for their concerts.

Some Muslim activists have called for a suspension of the newspaper that initially published the photo. A spokesperson from The Star made a formal apology for the "oversight", saying that the offensive photograph was "inadvertently" published.

Erykah Badu received a fine for stripping in public while filming her video for 'Window Seat' in 2010.

Watch the video for 'Window Seat' below:

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