According to the humanitarian organization Rwanga Foundation, Nelly became the first American to perform in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government, in northern Iraq. The GRAMMY-winning rapper took the stage Friday as part of a charity event to assist embattled Kurds in the region.
“We are delighted and proud that the city of Erbil hosted this landmark charity concert and would like to thank Nelly for his involvement,” said Rwanga Foundation’s Director of PR & Media, Taban Shoresh via written statement. “The event was here to celebrate the people of this city, promote peace, and a chance to raise money for the millions of people who have been affected by the ongoing conflict.”
Erbil has recently been under siege by armed guerrilla factions with ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (more commonly known as ISIS). The event reportedly also included a motor cross show, and according to Time.com drew a crowd of 15,000. Rwanga says sales from the event will be used to assist the most vulnerable groups in Kurdistan, Iraq and provide relief from man made disasters impacting the region.
You can view a tweet from the concert below.