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Rapper Kanye soars at Glastonbury Festival

Rapper Kanye soars at Glastonbury Festival

He opened his set with Stronger, performed under a low lighting rig that compounded the intensity of his rapping.

By (Reuters)

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 7:49 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:46 PM

Kanye WestKanye West delivered an uncompromising headline performance at Glastonbury Festival on Saturday that ignited when the US rapper left the Pyramid Stage to take to the sky for hits Touch The Sky and All of the Lights.

West was the polarising figure of Europe’s biggest green-field festival, and the announcement of his appearance prompted thousands to sign a petition against the choice of a rap act for the top billing.

The multi-talented West proved the doubters wrong by attracting a large audience who knew the words to many of his tracks. He opened his set with Stronger, performed under a low lighting rig that compounded the intensity of his rapping. Later Touch the Sky was abandoned a few bars in, only to restart with West high above the stage in a breathtaking moment of theatre. West, whose ego is as well known as his songs, did not launch into any monologues, a feature of some performances, but he did proclaim: “You are now watching the greatest living rock star on the planet”.

Pharrell Williams earlier in the evening had a huge crowd dancing and jumping to hits Blurred Lines and Get Lucky.

A group of young children joined the US singer and producer on stage for Happy, his huge seller of last year. “Make some noise for the English future on stage,” he said.

British singer-songwriter George Ezra and Burt Bacharach, a pop legend almost four times his age, delighted afternoon audiences at the dairy farm in southwest England.

Ezra’s sun-drenched set included hits Budapest, which he premiered on a smaller set at the festival two years ago, Blame It On Me, and a cover of Macy Gray’s I Try.

The 22-year-old may hail from the English county town of Hertford but his bass-baritone comes from somewhere in the Deep South.

Paloma Faith, Pharrell Williams, Adele

Paloma Faith, Pharrell Williams, Adele

Bacharach initially left the vocals to his singers for a medley of songs that sound-tracked the sixties and seventies, from I Say a Little Prayer to Trains and Boats and Planes and I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.

The 87-year-old songwriter took to the mic later in his set, before leading the crowd in a mass singalong of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head as, right on cue, light drizzle started.

The rain interrupted a day of sunshine. The warm weather dried up most of the mud on the site caused by heavy downpours - a perennial feature of the event - on Friday. 

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