Rapper Nelly Becomes First Major US Artist to Perform in Kurdish Iraq – Proceeds to ISIS Victims

St. Louis rapper Nelly became the first major US artist to perform in Kurdistan, Iraq.
The Grammy award winning Hip-Hop artist agreed to perform without payment.
nelly iraq

The proceeds from the concert went to victims of ISIS and the Kurdish army.

Kurdish officials paid for his travel expenses and accommodations.
Kurdistan’s BasNews reported:


The Grammar(sp) award-winning US rapper Nelly arrived in Kurdistan on Friday to play during the annual Xoli Raperin football tournament organized by Rwanga Foundation.

The performance will make history, as Nelly will be the first American artist to perform in the Kudistan region of Iraq. Previously, Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie and UN refugee envoy visited Kurdistan in January, to visit refugees and IDPs in Kurdistan.

In addition the concert will also see a motocross show from international star André Villa, plus a performance from Kurdish Arab Idol’s Ammar Koofy.

Zirak a. Hamad, Public Relations and Media officer told Bas News that they invited Nelly for a charity concert. “We are raising awareness and money for IDPs, refugees, and the Peshmerga martyr families,” he told BasNews.

“We wanted to invite an international artist to come to Kurdistan in order to get familiar with Kurdistan, and to show it’s a safe region.”

Rwanga Foundation has played an active role in helping those most vulnerable during the humanitarian crises; one of the latest projects has been, Rwanga Community, which consists of 3000 residential units to shelter 24,000 displaced people.

Hamad, denied rumours that the artist was paid by the organization after complaints by locals that artists should not hold concerts while there is an economic crisis in Kurdistan. “We just paid the travel expenses and accommodation,” Hamad said.

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