Come to Kazakhstan, It's Nice! Kanye West Seranades President for $3 Million

Ok, so we've heard the story tons of times before. Famous singer plays for world leader with dodgy human rights record and gets paid millions for an hours work.

The latest star to risk the wrath of international protestors is none other than R&B star Kanye West, who reportedly accepted a cheque for $3 million to play at the wedding of the grandson of the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

In scenes not unlike the popular MTV series My Sweet 16, Aysyltan probably jumped for joy when his Grandpa told him he'd booked one of the biggest stars in the world for his wedding to Alima Boranbayeva, who studies art at the Courtauld Institute in London. Her father is the chairman of the Kazakh-Russian state oil venture KazRosGas, according to the Independent. 

Now, on to the good bit. The controversies and alleged human rights violations.

The Nazarbayev family has been embroiled in numerous investigations by Western governments into money laundering, bribery, and assassinations.

In 2007, the U.S. State Department listed a host of human rights abuses in the country, including severe limits on political freedoms and freedom of speech, prisoner abuse, arbitrary arrests and detentions, violence against woman and trafficking. 

If you've done any research into Nazabayev, you'll probably have come across some pretty positive things too - largely his environmental and nuclear stance - though a recent New York Times story claims the President's regime has been paying Washington DC think tanks to issue glowing reports on the country that ignore its glaring shortcomings.  

Human Rights Watch has singled out Kazakhstan for its "serious and deteriorating human rights situation" which includes "credible allegations of torture, the imprisonment of government critics, tight controls over the media and freedom of expression and association, limits in religious freedom, and continuing violation of workers' rights."

Nevertheless, Kanye West performed at the luxury Grand Tulip Hotel over the weekend, with various photos posted to Twitter and Instagram - a video of the performance also found its way onto YouTube (which you can watch below).

As mentioned, the world's biggest superstars performing these types of concert is by no means a new revelation. In fact, in 2011, Sting pulled out of an arranged concert in Kazakhstan over claims of human rights violations against oil workers.

At the time, the singer said: "The Kazakh gas and oil workers and their families need our support and the spotlight of the international media on their situation in the hope of bringing about positive change."

Watch Kanye West performing in Kazakhstan:

In July, Jennifer Lopez was severely criticized for singing at a birthday concert for the president of Turkmenistan - a man accused of committing some of the biggest human rights abuses in recent times. The American Idol judge later apologized for the concert.

According to a statement by the Human Rights Foundation, Turkmenistan leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is ranked as one of the nine "worst of the worst" dictators on the planet, while Transparcency International ranks the country as a bottom-seven country in their Corruption Perception Index.

In 2010, Beyonce was paid a reported $1 million to play for Mutassum Gaddafi, the son and national security advisor of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. The R&B superstar sang five songs in St Barts, before Usher took over until midnight. 

The Canadian singer Nelly Furtado - who sang for Gaddafi family members at an Italian hotel in 2007 - went public with her remorse, telling Twitter followers that she would donate her fee to charity. 

In 2001, Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers performed at the Karl Marx Theatre in Havana in 2001, chatting to the guest of honor Fidel Castro before the show despite his well-publicized human rights abuses, according to The Telegraph.

Kanye WestKanye West Performing On Home Soil

Kanye West New York
Kanye West Scored $3 Million For The Gig


Contactmusic

Tags: Kanye West

Advertisement

More Kanye West

Kanye West Collaborator Reveals Details Of 'Yeezus' Follow Up Album

Kanye West’s co-writer Malik Yusef has revealed the rapper’s new album is close to completion, saying he has "20 finished songs" for the record. The...

Kim Kardashian Denies 'Abandoning' North West At Paris Hotel

Kim Kardashian has denied reports she 'forgot' her daughter in a hotel whilst attending Paris Fashion Week.Kim Kardashian arriving with North West (we hope!) at...

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Booed At Paris Fashion Week Show

Paris Fashion Week does not appear to have been a great success for Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West.Kim Kardashian at Paris Fashion Week.Read...

Kim Kardashian Targeted By Red Carpet Prankster Vitalii Sediuk At Paris Fashion Week

Serial red carpet prankster Vitalii Sediuk has struck again! The Ukranian media personality, who gained fame earlier this year when he accosted Brad Pitt at...

Advertisement

Kanye West Defends Himself In Recent Wheelchair Controversy: "I'm A Married Christian Man With A Family"

Kanye West can't seem to go through a full week without making headlines, and only this past weekend the 37 year-old star caused more outrage...

Kanye West Asks Man in Wheelchair to Stand, Sends Employee to Check Disability

Kanye West refused to continue his show at the Qantas Credit Union Arena in Sydney on Friday night (September 12) until everyone in the crowd...

Kanye West Asks Sydney Audience To Stand Up, Points At Fan In Wheelchair

Kanye West probably had one of his most awkward career moments at a recent show in Australia. On Friday night (Sept 12th), the 37 year-old...

That Awkward Moment When Kanye West Insisted That A Handicapped Fan Stand Up At A Gig

Kanye West’s mid-concert interludes are usually a fun time, but his Australian gig was just plain awkward for a couple of handicapped fans. Now we’re...

Advertisement

Comments

Kanye West Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Kanye West

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All