Kanye West has been announced as the Saturday night headliner at Glastonbury this year. The hip-hop superstar joins Foo Fighters, who headline on the Friday night. The Sunday night headliner has not yet been announced.
News that West was to be the headliner appeared to have leaked out on Monday 16 March, with a flurry of speculation that West was to be announced. It has now been confirmed on the Glastonbury Twitter feed.
When Jay Z became the first hip-hop act to headline Glastonbury in 2008, it was a matter of some controversy, with Noel Gallagher insisting it was “wrong” to have a hip-hop headliner. In the event, his set was a triumph, and he opened his set with a version of Wonderwall. This will be West’s first appearance at the festival.
There’s likely to be less fuss about West, not just because the doors to hip-hop in the top slot have been broken down, but also because of West’s status as one of the biggest stars in the world. He’s also displayed himself a master of manipulating the media: this year alone he has teased the world with news of his latest album, So Help Me God, dramatic appearances at the Brits and the Grammys, and a secret show at Koko in London.
His live sets are notoriously unpredictable. At the Wireless festival in London last summer he was reportedly booed after pausing the music to offer the crowd an extensive mid-set rant. On the other hand, his Watch the Throne tour with Jay-Z was regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop tours ever.
Whatever else might happen, it’s unlikely West’s Glastonbury appearance will be uneventful.
The Guardian is Glastonbury’s media partner.