Jay-Z goes down easy with doubting Glastonbury fans

GLASTONBURY music festival wrapped up last night with a double bill of golden oldies following controversy over its first ever hip-hop headliner, Jay-Z, and troubled star Amy Winehouse.

Leonard Cohen, 73, and Neil Diamond, 67, were the biggest draws on the final day alongside headliners The Verve.

Earlier, Michael Eavis, the farmer who has hosted the annual mudfest on his land almost every year since 1970, hailed Jay-Z’s performance as a triumph which proved doubters wrong.

He also defended Winehouse, who appeared to lash out at a fan during her set Saturday.

Her spokesman said the star, recently diagnosed with the lung condition emphysema, had reacted when a fan tried to grab her hair when she went to the front of the stage.

Some music fans have blamed the choice of Jay-Z as the centrepiece on Saturday night headliner for relatively slow ticket sales at the 135,000 capacity event, which is traditionally dominated by guitar and dance music.

Noel Gallagher, the guitarist with previous headliners Oasis, said in widely quoted comments in April: “I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury, it’s wrong.”

But Jay-Z hit back, striding on stage with a guitar to start his set with a tongue-in-cheek cover of Oasis’s Wonderwall.

Organisers of the festival in south-west England say they asked him to play because they wanted to appeal to a younger audience.

Director Melvyn Benn said Jay-Z proved all the doubters wrong — including himself — adding: “Perhaps I was one of those who had doubts and I was concerned it would not work out, but he proved he is not just another pop star.”

Benn said all tickets were sold and he believed people who stayed away now regretted their decision.


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