*Kanye West was reportedly paid $3 million to play a wedding in Kazakh over the weekend, but the money grab may backfire. Turns out the groom is the grandson of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been repeatedly criticized by rights groups for his authoritarian rule and squeezing dissent in the Central Asian state.
Aisultan Nazarbayev celebrated his marriage to bride Alima Boranbayeva in a no expense spared party on Saturday night at the Royal Tulip hotel in Almaty, the Tengri news website reported. West, a personal guest of Nazarbayev, was seen in pictures and videos published on Instagram and other social networking sites of the guests. Instagram video showed a gaggle of young wedding guests, their backs to the stage, posing for pictures with West as he performed “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”
Photographer Helen Gadjilova attended the wedding and took the below Instagram video of Kanye . [Watch below.] According to the New York Times, she refused to comment.
Such appearances by celebrities in autocratic Central Asia have backfired for stars in the past.
Jennifer Lopez was vehemently criticized for appearing at a birthday party for Turkmenistan’s strongman President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov this year.
British pop star Sting cancelled a concert he was due to give in Kazakhstan in July 2011, blaming violations of the human rights.