Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Saturday, 26 September 2009 11:53 UK

Peas' Malaysian show goes ahead

Fergie and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas
The band held a press conference before the show

Hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas have played to a mixed audience in Malaysia after a government ban on Muslims attending the concert was lifted.

The event was initially restricted to non-Muslims because it was being sponsored by beer company Guinness.

Alcohol sales at Friday's concert were restricted to areas which signs said were off-limits to Muslims.

The group's glamorous singer, Fergie, dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt for the concert in Kuala Lumpur.

"I have had to change my costume," she said before taking to the stage, "but I mean the woman's silhouette is still there, whether it's clothes or not, whether you see skin or you don't".

'Thrilled'

Frontman will.i.am told reporters he was glad the ban on Muslims attending the concert had been relaxed.

"I'm so thrilled," he said at a press conference. "When we go to Dubai, when we go to Philippines, it's Muslims, Christians, everyone."

"The Black Eyed Peas is everybody's music. It feels so good to be able to come here and everyone's able to see us. And we'll be able to see everyone."

In the end, around 5,000 fans turned out to hear the band's hits, including Let's Get It Started, My Humps and Boom Boom Pow.

Muslims account for nearly 60% of Malaysia's 27 million people and they are barred from consuming alcohol under Islamic laws.

Government regulations also forbid alcohol firms from organising public concerts, but the Black Eyed Peas show had been allowed in order to boost tourism.

Performances by other touring pop stars such as Pussycat Dolls, Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne have faced opposition in Malaysia from conservative Muslims protesting about immodest clothing, forcing the artists to wear clothes that revealed little skin.

The conservative Islamic party PAS is currently calling for a concert by R&B star Beyonce on October 25 to be banned, two years after her Malaysian debut was shelved over fears of demonstrations.



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SEE ALSO
Black Eyed Peas gig ban reversed
02 Sep 09 |  Entertainment
Concert ban for Malaysian Muslims
27 Aug 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Peas break chart record in the US
20 Aug 09 |  Entertainment

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