3:47pm PT by Stephanie Chan
Kanye West Performs for Grandson of Kazakhstan's Authoritarian President
Kanye West is doing weddings now.
The rapper played a private performance at a wedding reception on Saturday for the grandson of Kazakhstan's longtime authoritarian president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the controversial leader who has long been accused of human rights abuses and rigged elections.
Yeezus was seen arriving in a black Mercedes at the Royal Tulip hotel in the city of Almaty, where Nazarbayev's grandson, Aisultan Nazarbayev, wed Alima Boranbayeva, the daughter of a top executive at a Kazakh state energy firm. West was reportedly paid roughly $3 million for performing for the couple, TMZ cited an unnamed Central Asian source.
A video posted on Instagram showed the rapper performing "Can't Tell Me Nothing" from his third studio album, Graduation. The photographer, Alyona Gadjilova, who uploaded the video, declined to comment on the wedding when reached by The New York Times.
According to the Kazakh news agency Tengrinews, West was reportedly President Nazarbayev's personal guest for the wedding. The Kazakh leader, who has ruled the country for 23 years, drew criticism in 2011 for mistreatment of striking oil workers in the city of Zhanaozen that left more than a dozen people dead. The tragedy led Sting to cancel a concert in the Kazakh capital city of Astana over human rights concerns.
This comes on the heel of Jennifer Lopez's performance in June when she performed at a birthday event for the Turkmenistan leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has also been cited for human rights abuses and authoritarian rule. Lopez's representative described the event in Turkmenistan as a "private corporate event" held by the CNPC that was "not political in nature" and was not "government sponsored."