Erykah Badu is adamant she is not angry about her cancelled concert in Malaysia, insisting she can understand why government officials felt the need to ban her from performing.
The R&B star flew to the Asian country at the weekend (25-26Feb12) ahead of a planned concert in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (29Feb12).
However, a local newspaper ran a controversial photograph of the star with a number of Arabic and Hebrew symbols, including a word for 'God', painted on her chest, and notoriously conservative government officials subsequently banned her from performing.
Badu has now opened up about the photograph, revealing it was inspired by a scene from Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 film The Holy Mountain, but she never meant for that particular image to be published in the conservative Muslim country.
In a series of posts on Twitter.com, she writes, "My fav (favourite) filmmaker is (Alejandro Jodorowsky). He made a movie called The Holy Mountain in the 70s. (One) of his characters is called the painted lady... She wore all symbols and names of God on her body. I posed as her in a photoshoot... This photo was chosen & edited by the promoters here in Malaysia. They were very responsible to the people and its Muslim beliefs...
"One particular paper retrieved (the) edited photo and printed it along with its article... This is where the upset began..."
However, Badu is convinced government officials had no choice but to cancel her concert over the controversy: "The gov. of Malaysia had to be responsible to its people's beliefs... Even if it were just 1 or 2 complaints. I understand. It's an election year... Keep in mind..."
She adds, "I love Malaysia and its people. Art is often misunderstood in the realm of religion."