Kanye West performs for Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev

September 3, 2013

Kanye West (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Yet another big party weekend for a Central Asian strongman, yet another Western superstar called out for getting the paid gig. Kanye West apparently touched down in Kazakhstan Saturday to perform at the wedding of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s grandson in the cultural center of Almaty, according to local news reports and a flurry of Twitter and Instagram photos from the event. TMZ claims North West’s dad was paid in the neighborhood of $3 million for the show. Nursultan’s 23-year regime has been accused by human-rights monitors for violent crackdowns on demonstrators. Sound familiar? In July, Jennifer Lopez apologized for singing Happy Birthday to Turkmenistan autocrat Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow during a concert that China National Petroleum Corp. hired her for; two years ago, Hilary Swank donated to charity the six-figure fee she picked up for attending Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday party after human-rights advocates criticized her.

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Amy Argetsinger · September 3, 2013