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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 14:43 GMT
Jay-Z confirmed for Glastonbury
by Kev Geoghegan
Music reporter, Radio 1

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has confirmed that Jay-Z is to become the first ever hip-hop artist to headline the music festival this summer.


She told 1Xtra: "We're so excited, over the moon about it. I think he'll do the biggest show and it'll be amazing."

It's thought the organisers have gone for Jay-Z in a bid to attract a younger audience to the festival, held at Pilton farm between 27-29 June. Emily admits they're trying to widen Glastonbury's appeal.

She said: "That's not why we booked him but it's about engaging different audiences and getting a whole new bunch of people interested in Glastonbury."

Emily added: "He's a legend, the one and only artist who should be doing that slot."

Diverse music

Jay-Z has carved a reputation as one of the world's most in-demand artists, famous for diverse musical collaborations, including Coldplay's Chris Martin, Linkin Park and Kanye West.

Emily Eavis admits Kanye was also in the running.

She said: "Kanye was a possibility. We like to go for the original legend-type figures and although people know loads of his tunes, we just felt Jay-Z was the right guy."

A wet and muddy Glastonbury 2007

Apparently he will be joined on stage at Glastonbury by some 'mystery guests'.

Business success

The star, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is the most successful hip hop entertainer in the world with an estimated net-worth of more than 300 million. He was also the first 'non-sports star' to have his own line of trainers.

"He's a legend, the one and only artist who should be doing that slot."
Emily Eavis
Until recently, Jay-Z was president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records. He also co-owns the New Jersey Nets basketball team.

Jay-Z won't be the first rap artist to play Glastonbury though, artists including The Roots, Cypress Hill and Roots Manuva have all appeared over the years.

Some fans have already criticised a rap artist headlining a predominantly rock festival but Emily Eavis isn't afraid of a backlash.

She said: "We've got a good crowd here. People are very respectful and open minded when they come to Glastonbury.

"They might not go to one of his gigs but they're gonna check him out and people will be won over by him.

"People will be really, really surprised. Indie kids who don't necessarily go to Jay-Z gigs, I think they'll be really excited about it."

Music legend Neil Diamond has also been confirmed for a weekend slot but organisers hope to keep the rest of the line-up under wraps until June.

The registration period for Glastonbury tickets is still ongoing with the actual tickets going on sale on 6 April.

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