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Kendrick Lamar closes Glastonbury with blood-soaked plea for women’s rights

<i>Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images</i><br/>
Samir Hussein/WireImage
Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

By Toyin Owoseje, CNN

Hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar closed his headline Glastonbury set with an impassioned plea for women’s rights.

The Grammy-winning artist, who had initially been announced as part of the lineup for the festival’s 50th anniversary in 2020, finally made his debut on Sunday after delays caused by the pandemic.

When Lamar took to the stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset, England, he addressed themes of social injustice, faith, greed, loyalty and prejudice with choreographed performances of tracks such as “N95” and “United in Grief” from his latest album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” as well as older hits like “Humble” and “Alright.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning star ended his Pyramid Stage set with a rendition of his new song, “Savior,” which touches on politics, Covid and the Black Lives Matter movement, describing it as his “favorite record” off his new album.

According to Vogue, Lamar was wearing the same diamond-encrusted crown of thorns that he wore on the cover of. “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” his fifth studio album. The titanium and pavé diamond crown was created by Lamar’s longtime creative collaborator Dave Free and the jeweler Tiffany & Co.

“I wear this crown. They judge Christ. They judge you, they judge Christ,” the 35-year-old musician told the thousands-strong Glastonbury crowd before launching into the number. As he rapped on stage, fake blood poured down his face from the crown, soaking his white shirt.

At the end of the performance, he repeated the chant, “They judge you, they judge Christ. Godspeed for women’s rights,” multiple times before abruptly exiting the stage and leaving his dancers behind.

Lamar appeared to be condemning the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right of Americans to abortion.

Demonstrations decrying the loss of a nearly 50-year-old legal protection have taken place across the US, while some gatherings celebrated the ruling.

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