Gwen Stefani played Malaysia as a cover girl. Actually, make that a covered girl.
The singer, 37, revealed next to no skin while performing Tuesday before some 7,000 cheering fans at an indoor stadium.
The new dress code followed some fears expressed by Islamic critics that Stefani’s revealing concert costumes might corrupt the country’s youth, the Associated Press reports.
Bursting onto the stage in a short-sleeved shirt and black-and-white striped hot pants suit over a black leotard (with black gloves up to her elbows), Stefani announced, “I am very inspired tonight.”
What she was inspired to do was, in fact, put on a fashion show, donning a different outfit for every song – among them: “The Sweet Escape,” “Rich Girl,” “Wind it Up” and “Hollaback Girl.” (Cameras were banned from the performance.)
Stefani’s vow of modestly came as a result of a charge by the 10,000-member National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students that her revealing outfits and cheeky performances clashed with traditional Islamic values.
The opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party also blamed her for promoting promiscuity and corrupting the nation’s youth.
Under Malaysian government rules, a female artist must be covered from her shoulders to her knees. Also prohibited: jumping, shouting or throwing of objects onstage or at the audience. Talent may also not hug or kiss, and their clothes must not carry obscene or drug-related images or messages.
Speaking to the local entertainment publication Galaxie, Stefani said she had adapted her act to Malaysia, which she termed a “major sacrifice.”
“I’ve been in the music industry for 20 years and this is the first time that I’m facing opposition from people who have misunderstood me,” she was quoted as saying – adding, “I’m not a bad girl.”