Kanye West got $3 million to perform at Kazakh dictator’s grandson’s wedding

Dear Jennifer Lopez: you’re not the ONLY one who gets paid millions of dollars to perform for dictators!! Kanye West can do it too, J.Lo! Over the weekend, Kanye was in Kazakhstan to perform for President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the president’s grandson’s wedding in Almaty (at the Hotel Royal Tulip, an excellent hotel name). According to TMZ, Yeezus got paid $3 million for the performance. Pres. Nazarbayev is reportedly “worth billions” (mostly from plundered oil reserves, I would assume). The problem? Pres. Nazarbayev is on the Human Rights Watch’s list of dictators who mistreat, abuse, detain and kill their own people. When Sting was asked to perform for the Kazakh president, Sting refused. Here’s more:

Kanye West is embroiled in controversy again after the rapper raked in a reported $3 million to perform at the wedding of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s grandson, according to TMZ. President Nazarbayev, who is reportedly worth billions, is a controversial figure and has been at the centre of claims of violating human rights and corruption.

Singer Sting previously refused a sinmilar invitation before of his record on human rights. In 2011, Sting pulled out of an arranged concert for the president over claims of human rights violations on oil workers in the Central Asian country. He said at the time, ‘Hunger strikes, imprisoned workers and tens of thousands on strike represents a virtual picket line which I have no intention of crossing. 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.’

David Mepham, director of Human Rights Watch has said: ‘Kazakhstan’s serious and deteriorating human rights situation 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”.’

Kazakh website Tengrinews wrote that the party celebrated the nuptials of Aysultan Nazarbayev and Alima Boranbayeva. Aysultan, 23, is the youngest son of President Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter. He is a graduate of Sandhurst, and now works for the country’s ministry of defense. Meanwhile his bride Boranbayeva, 20, reportedly attends London’s Courtauld Institute of Art.

Kanye is worth millions, but he and girlfriend Kim are well known for their expensive taste. The couple who recently welcomed their first child North West, have splashed out a whopping $750,000 on four gold-plated toilets for their new home. They are also said to have spent an incredible £750,000 on special-edition luxury beds for the $11 million Bel Air mansion.

[From The Mail]

I guess the subtext is that Kanye West needs $$$ now that he’s with Kim and they’re wallpapering their mansion with sheets of gold. But Yeezus is already pretty wealthy, I thought? I mean, he’s an incredibly successful artist and has been for the better part of a decade. It’s more likely that this is a situation where Kanye thought it would be a quick paycheck and he didn’t bother to do any research on who he was performing for. Yeezus probably thought no one would find out. Anyway, go hard on him. This is another Hilary Swank/Jennifer Lopez situation.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

 

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83 Responses to “Kanye West got $3 million to perform at Kazakh dictator’s grandson’s wedding”

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  1. Tiffany27 says:

    This is exactly why I will never understand people who say he is above the “Kardashian greed”. He’s just as big of a greedy a**hole as his in-laws.

  2. Birdie says:

    Well, they didn’t sell North West’s pictures, so they have to make those millions with that… Greed is an ugly thing.

  3. CaribbeanLaura says:

    There better be as much backlash as JLo got. That’s all I gotta say!

    • lisa says:

      she barely got any

      neither got as much as hillary swank

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Hilary Swank only got a lot of blowback from what she did is because she went all sanctimonious saying that it was her pr’s fault and how she ALWAYS knows what she’s doing i.e. she does her research. That’s what she said.

        I just can’t understand why celebrities go perform for people like that. I mean, it’s Hollywood/LA music scene. I can get that you sometimes have to work with people you don’t really like on a personal or professional level—like your studio pressuring you to perform with Chris Brown.

        I may not like it, but I understand how much pressure is put on you to succeed and make money, and so on. But that’s not the same thing as performing for someone who is on a Human Rights Violation list—I just don’t understand it. How you can get info like that about a human being, who obviously cares very little to nothing about the lives of his people, and you find nothing wrong with performing for him and his family?

        Hell no. I can’t even bear to talk to people who say/do nasty things to other people, let alone exterminate huge populations.

        But I guess it’s worth it to them, because all they get is a slap on the wrist from these organizations that track this kind of stuff, and a couple million for a few hours work.

        The only thing that’ll stop this is if you refuse to buy their cds—which doesn’t affect me because the only two artists I have ever spent money on is Adele and Edith Piaf.

        But still, disgusting. I hope the money is worth it.

    • karen says:

      Kanye West is a dictator. Notice how he treated the mother of his child while she was pregnant. No respect for women.

  4. Lulu86 says:

    this guy is a walking talking contradiction, i lost respect for him a long time ago. Atleast the Kardashians don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are.

  5. Tapioca says:

    Umm, yeah.

    Because the US government have never used torture or slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people to knock half a cent of the price of a gallon of gas.

    Nursultan Nazarbayev is hardly better or worse than Bush or Obama!

  6. DanaG says:

    He is greedy and you would think after the JLo thing he would check. He probably thinks he is above it all being Yeesus and all.

  7. Shauna says:

    If you don’t have standards, you don’t have anything. No way could I do anything like this and it’s disgusting.

  8. dcypher1 says:

    I think kanye knew exactly who he was performing for he’s not stupid he just dosent care. But kanye dosent strike me as an ethical guy. He just wanted to make sum quick cash. So basically kanye is a greedy and dosent give a crap where his money is coming from just as long as he’s getting paid.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    It amazes me that after others are caught and slammed for thus, celebs continue to do it.
    It’s just gross, especially combined with the list of their extravagant spending.

  10. tifzlan says:

    I have a serious question and i hope no one misunderstands it as me approving of what Kanye did, but where exactly do we draw the line? Yes, President Nazarbayev is a ruthless dictator and i find it horrible that Kanye and JLo agreed to perform for him, knowing what a terrible person he is. But what about those who perform for Obama? Drone strikes are pretty despicable too.

    • siobhan says:

      I don’t see the big difference. Drone strikes are killing innocent people. However I remember a pole that showed 90% of Americans support the drone strikes. Unfortunately I think a lot of Americans just don’t care about innocent people being killed abroad if the president promises it will help keep them safe.

      • Bianca says:

        I honestly think that any artist with a shred of integrity should avoid performing for politicians or heads of states because let’s face it, they all have some innocent blood on their hands. I know it will never happen because there’s a lot of money involved, but still…

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        siobhan

        Most Americans abhor our human rights violations. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/30/us-syria-crisis-usa-poll-idUSBRE97T0UO20130830

        I was incensed that JLo performed for a dictator, but now when my country’s government thinks bombing without provocation is A OK, suddenly shading Kanye performing for a dictator seems hypocritical. JLo, I’m sorry and regret my previous remarks condemning your concert for a despot.

      • tifzlan says:

        Siobhan, Sloane and Bianca – I’m glad that i’m not the only person who feels this way. Drone strikes do more harm than good. More often than not, it is the innocent civilians that are murdered by these strikes, and honestly, it does nothing to help the “war on terrorism”. I have to agree with Bianca: i believe that performers shouldn’t perform for heads of states/politicians at all. They are all shady one way or another, and i don’t believe for one second that any of them champion peace and stability. They might not actively participate in war, but showing support for governments that do go to war is just the same, imo. It’s extremely hypocritical to call out Kanya and JLo for performing for Nazarbayev when Jay-Z and Beyonce have Obama on speed dial and no one thinks twice about that.

      • Nicolette says:

        I beg to differ. As an American I do care about innocents being slaughtered anywhere in the world. Whether it’s from inhaling poisonous gas, having a skyscraper collapse on them, a drone strike or any other murderous act. I care that the population who greatly outnumber world leaders, are at their mercy. And I care that this handful of power hungry war mongers are about to set off a fuse they wont be able to put out.

  11. Bianca says:

    These people gross me out to an extent that I did not believe possible. Last night I was watching a sort of docu-reality which featured the richest people here in Italy and I almost felt sick at how entitled and out-of-touch they are. Same goes for Kanye and other wealthy “artists” that decide to perform for such shady people in exchange for a shameful amount of money. They all disgust me.

  12. bluecalling says:

    no one should have gotten any backlash. they have a gig and they are getting paid. i am a consultant. when someone asks me to do something, i hardly investigate where there money is coming from. even the WB, IMF, UN try to “work” with these regimes… are we really going to hold our stars to standards we ourselves would never be able to uphold? i mean, even i am not against taking a vacation to myanmar or north korea or whatever because my curiosity is a little more than my dislike for whatever is or was there.

    • dagdag says:

      I have no influence on how my taxes are spent, but I can decide with whom I associate. I am also in the lucky position to choose who I work for and I am sure Kanye can do that too. It is not like two wrongs make a right.

      • Hakura says:

        @dagdag – Agreed! We may have virtually no say or control over what our government decides to do, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make moral decisions as individuals, & condemn those who violate human rights in disgusting ways, & those who happily disregard it for a paycheck.

    • Emily C. says:

      So money makes right? Okay! Have fun on your vacations, and good luck not getting arrested for something random. But I guess if you have enough money, you don’t have to live by the rules the rest of us peons do.

      • Lady D says:

        Apparently, money means you don’t need morals either. Enjoy your vacations.

      • bluecalling says:

        @emily my my, i WISH lol

        because of my work and interest (like coming across Nothing to Envy, good book btw), i am guessing i am more aware than most stars and even i am curious to see certain places. so if i know my money for the trip, no matter how small or large, would go to the regime and i wills till be like “but i want to see that.”, i can’t imagine someone who is not aware and getting millions would not be like “fly in fly out, cool”.

        sometimes they just see “rich person from random place in the world…” and they probably ask first: “is that oil money?” really, people don’t know and even worse, they don’t ask, they really really don’t.

        @karen, i see your point and i agree but this is a huge paycheck… who says no to that? i cannot expect them to. i would like them to but to actually think they would, heck no.

    • karen says:

      Performers have a RESPONSIBILITY!!!

      Performers, actors, models etc; have fans young and old who may idolize them.

      With Twitter and Facebook everywhere, THEY HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW WHO IS PAYING THEM! And they will live up to it.

  13. janie says:

    I doubt Kanye has a clue what’s happening outside his self-centered world. They would all sell their soul to the devil for enough money. He’s not alone in this area. I’m sure we would all be shocked to discover all that did.

  14. hillbillyinthecorner says:

    Simple …If the Devil’s got the money then Kanye will find the time ……cause he has to earn a living you know….
    I head that on “Cops” the other night when a cop ask a dealer why he was again after being busted….the dealer excused his dealing by saying this…
    Kanye just wants the money and if the “performance ” was a warm up to a hanging he would still do it for the right amount…He has no respect…integrity or dignity…..

  15. Maya Memsaab says:

    Ah, so Kanye, when you said you won’t sell your “art” out, what you meant is you wouldn’t do it for anyone less than the highest bidder.

  16. dorothy says:

    He’s a Kardashian now, he’s a whore for money.

  17. Dawn says:

    I don’t think that Kanye expected his star to slip quite as fast as it has since he hooked up with Kimmode. His last CD sold horribly and now Eminem is about ready to release a new one which will blow Kanye West Karda$hian out of the water. And Justin Timberlake has been on tour and openly making fun of Kayne and Jay Z is laughing right along with him by keeping his silence. So hell yes…dude needs money to keep Kimmode happy. He knows it, we know it and the world knows it. Kanye West would perform for anyone for the right price tag and it just goes to show what a total hypocrite and race baiter he is, the old live as I say and not as I do kind of hypocrite. And so far Anna Wintour has not bended to his plea for the cover of Vogue for himself, Kimmode and North West and I hope she continues to say no. He basically said on PMK’s show that he doesn’t care what anyone says about him and Kimmode (so ya know that people have talked to him) and it’s all worth it. So we shall see if he is standing by that statement in five years.

  18. eliza says:

    On the edge of the U.S again involving themselves in yet another war, I am not that judgemental about Kanye performing for a dictator.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      Eliza

      I know what you mean; I feel the same way. Swank, Ye, and JLo are almost stand-ins for tacit support of criminal leaders.

      The silver lining is that our country is on the verge of achieving a bipartisan consensus against bombing Syria. Thanks to brave Americans like Snowden and Private Manning, and so many others, we are waking up and pushing back against ruthless human rights violations both here at home and abroad.

      Now is the time to pressure Congress – not just the handful of Democrats who are susceptible to reasoned arguments, but also the Republicans who would vote against Obama for any reason.

  19. TheOneAndOnlyOnly says:

    I wanted to stay away from politics but drone strikes against totalitarian nihilists (Al-queda) is qualitatively different from the Syrian Dictator gassing sleeping women and children. The balance of decency is still on the side of the western democracies, distinctions make a difference, The overwhemling majority of victims of Al-queda and Arab dictators like assad are innocent muslim men, women, and children, and very little outrage is shown over that, especially from what passes for the left. Columnists Nick Kristof and Russ Douthat in yesterday’s NY Times had excellent commentary on the syrian situation.
    Kanye is just a little narcissistic pos, and his music isn’t that good.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      TheOneAndOnlyOnly

      Lol! I have to agree about Kanye.

      We don’t have the balance of decency on the side of our government. – http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/02/a-short-history-of-bio-chemical-weapons/

      Our people, on the other hand, really do want to stop supporting numerous wrongs to make a right. The children will be killed by us first in bombing and drone attacks so they’re not killed by Assad or ‘the bad guys’ later?

      • TheOneAndOnlyOnly says:

        THere is a world of difference between deliberately dumping poison gas on sleeping women and children and striking the delivery systems and airfields of the fascist dictator, You’re refusal to see that is stunning;
        THe vitriol should be reserved for Assad that used chemical weapons, and I don’t see much condemnation.
        As for the Tea Party, please, they are a bunch of anti-scientific anti-intellectual noobs that want to protect their entitlememtns (medicare), and it is our entitlement spending, not military spending – which is going down – that will bankrupt us.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        It’s no accident that Kanye and other celebrities pandering to dictators for obscene amounts of money have many people thinking about the role of our own corrupt greedy leaders pulling the strings of our military.

        I absolutely abhor gassing innocent men, women, and children, but you do know that already. There is compelling evidence that both the rebels and Assad have used chemical warfare in the Syrian civil war numerous times already. As the dominant military superpower in the world, I think we can and should do better than selectively playing policeman and flouting U.N. Law by bombing a sovereign country that is no military threat to us. We do not have the moral high ground, and the world is not behind our gross interference and military adventurism.

        My point about the Tea Party was to illustrate that Americans of all political stripes are coming together in their opposition of military strikes in Syria, of governmental spying of its own citizens, and of draconian imprisonment of whistle blowing patriots.

        TheOneAndOnlyOnly, when the US is spending around half of the entire world’s military spending, I find calling programs like Medicare ‘entitlements’ pretty rich. Meahwhile, pro-billionaire revisions in the tax code go unchallenged, working class living standards are plummeting, and the drumbeats to war echo ever louder. Our Dollarocracy is all about shifting resources to the wealthiest Americans, and it’s up to us to stem the tide.

    • siobhan says:

      What’s the difference? Drone strikes are not just killing terrorists they are killing innocent people too. It’s only different if you think an innocent life in Syria has more value than an innocent life in Pakistan.
      Sloan Wyatt
      My sources might be (gasp) mainstream but other than my husband I don’t know anyone else who is against drone strikes. I don’t need a poll to tell me many Americans don’t care. I am often horrified by the attitude of the many people I unfortunatly have to associate with. There was a very serious discussion last week at my place of work where everyone but me thought only American citizens should be allowed access to emergency medical services. The thinking is those who aren’t paying taxes shouldn’t receive anything that taxes might help pay for even in life and death situations.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Siobhan

        I have no doubt large pockets of Americans could care less about who performs for a dictator or who we bomb; IMO this is because the big media is actively shaping what the average person sees. Thanks for gently pointing out that I was lecturing:) – not my intent at all.

        My Dad and a lot of Tea Partiers I’ve talked to actually deplore our track record of drone attacks and the human rights violations we routinely engage in. I believe we are waking up and seeing the truth, and many of us are contacting our congressional representatives and are making a difference in shaping U.S. policy. That’s why our government is targeting citizens who want no part in unilateral war and our loss of civil liberties. There is increasing surveillance, secrecy and punishment for those who expose these things.

    • Dawn says:

      Amen. I think the true issue is the West has no idea how to deal with the Middle East, none. And I think that is what the Middle East counts on.

    • Emily C. says:

      Yep. I don’t like drone strikes and I seriously hate how the U.S. keeps involving itself in wars for oil. But this isn’t a black-and-white situation. In World War II, the Allies did some incredibly heinous things, from rape camps (USSR) to mass murder of civilians by atomic bomb (USA). Does that mean the Allies were the same as Hitler, and there was nothing to choose between them? No.

      We need to hold our leaders to higher standards. That does not preclude also calling out human rights violations by leaders elsewhere.

      And I think it’s rich for Americans to act like we’re in any way in a situation comparable to that of those under dictators like Nazarbayev. Have you been arrested for sharing your opinion? Are you actually going to be? Is there an actual chance of you and your family being killed by the government? (Answer: no, and if you think there is, you are wrong.) Are you sitting in a comfortable chair, typing your political opinions on a gossip site on the internet, or are you too afraid to do that because you know if you do, there is a VERY high chance you will be dragged off to be tortured and killed? Do you have access to the internet in the first place?

      That something is wrong does not mean it is ALL THE WRONGS. That our country is imperfect does not mean we know the first thing about what it’s actually like to live somewhere like Kazakhstan.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Emily C

        “We need to hold our leaders to higher standards. That does not preclude also calling out human rights violations by leaders elsewhere.” You raise some great points!

        Yes, we should be condemning atrocities as human rights violations are occurring all over the world, but at the same time we need to clean our own house as well. What I’m completely against is the practice of the US ‘punishing’ other governments with further bloodshed. Where does it stop for the US Military to intervene at will?

  20. Hakura says:

    Aw, com’on, you guys!! He may have 24k gold plated sh*t receptacles, but you just can’t expect him to go w/o a platinum urinal!

  21. Sloane Wyatt says:

    It is a real world story when celebrities are hosted by killers, and these types of celebrity performances have so many more implications than just a gossip story.

  22. Larissa says:

    I am not American, so I can definitely slam Kanye for the greedy asshole he is.

  23. Mon says:

    Of course he did. He would have done even if he had known. Money is money for some people…. Even if they get paid by a murderer…. Maybe they are now looking to buy some golden sinks and bath tubs….

  24. jason colette says:

    He followed what he values $$$. That’s all he stands for.

  25. Joh says:

    His mom died after having plastic surgery after having been refused by the surgeon the first time and him demanding a waiver before he did it.
    DIED!
    The values here are very messed up.
    He married someone for pr for crimes sake!

  26. Ag says:

    Terrible how incredibly greedy these incredibly rich a$$wipes are. Money above all else, and everything else is just lip service.

  27. Chesire says:

    Really? 3 mil that’s all? That may could’ve paid him $10.

  28. autumn says:

    Why does Kanye West always look like he’s furious with the entire world? He has a better life than 99.99% of the world’s population. What is there to be pissed off about?

  29. kiyoshigirl says:

    For God’s sake he’s in love with a woman who made her name and the base of her fortune off of a homemade porno wherein she allowed herself to be peed upon. Do you seriously think these kind of people care where the money comes from? Hell no. All they care about is that it comes in HUGE chunks. I’m not judging her sexual proclivities. She can do what she wants, but for the love of Yeesus, people should not act surprised that he would dare make money this way. Hilarious.

  30. Meanchick says:

    Kanye is riding JayZ’s d**k so hard, he wants to be just like him, super wealthy and an asshole. I don’t like either of them, but it seems to me that Kanye wants what JayZ has, the title of ‘billionaire’ and will do ANYTHING to achieve it.

  31. Kemper says:

    Its amazing that he performed for the exact kind of oppressive people he raps about. That must of been awkward for him or he was just too blinded by the money to notice.

  32. Str8Shooter says:

    He would play at David Duke’s birthday party. No class, no dignity.

    Just trash.

  33. Nice says:

    If I were an entertainer,I would too in a heart beat. For that kind of money you betcha.