Kanye West Jams With Nas, John Legend

The Associated Press
Friday, June 23, 2006; 5:46 PM

NEW YORK -- Wall Street execs, leggy models and one-named celebrities shimmied into the night as Kanye West held court at the exclusive Cipriani's for an intimate concert.

"I used to sneak into events like this!" declared the Grammy-winning rapper-producer, who performed hits such as "Jesus Walks" and "Gold Digger" for a crowd that included Diddy, Moby, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and Terrence Howard, who introduced West as a "hip-hop icon."

Though West, 28, typically performs for thousands, Thursday night's concert was only for the special few _ actually, a few hundred _ to benefit amfAR, which raises money for AIDS research and prevention.

West, who performed for about an hour, brought two backup singers, a disc jockey and an assortment of string instrumentalists to support him, including several violinists and a harpist.

He also brought two surprise guests _ his protege, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Legend, and rapper Nas. The trio performed Nas' classic "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)."

"I feel like I'm living in the afterlife," West said. "My life is a dream."


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