Astroworld performer Drake issues first statement since tragedy: 'My heart is broken'

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Canadian-born rapper Drake has broken his silence on Friday night’s Astroworld tragedy, where at least eight people were killed.

The rapper, who joined Travis Scott on stage for the show based in Houston, Texas, released a statement on Instagram early Tuesday.

“I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this tragedy. I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself,” he posted.

“My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering,” his statement continued. “I will continue to pray for all of them, and will be of service in any way I can. May God be with you all.”

Drake has spoken out about the Astroworld festival, where at least eight people were killed.
(Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster, founded the Astroworld Festival in 2018. He was performing at the music festival on Friday when the crowd reportedly surged, resulting in eight deaths and more injuries. He has since faced criticism over the decision to keep the show going while first responders did their best to help the injured audience members. 

Both Scott and Drake have since been sued. Fox News can confirm that Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry filed a lawsuit Sunday against Travis Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster, as well as Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham. The suit also names Live Nation and NRG Stadium. 

According to a report from The Daily Mail, the suit is being filed on behalf of concert attendee Kristian Paredes, 23, from Austin, Texas. Paredes reportedly filed the complaint seeking more than $1 million in damages after both rappers allegedly “incited the crowd” and left him injured. 

In a press release announcing the lawsuit, Henry noted that Drake and Scott continued to perform even as vehicles attempted to break through the crowd to help those who had been injured and others called for the show to be stopped. 

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
(Erika Goldring/WireImage)

“Live musical performances are meant to inspire catharsis, not tragedy,” said Henry in a press release. “Many of these concert-goers were looking forward to this event for months, and they deserved a safe environment in which to have fun and enjoy the evening. Instead, their night was one of fear, injury, and death.”

A separate suit filed Saturday on behalf of concert attendee Manuel Souza and confirmed by Fox News lists Scott as a defendant and accuses the “owners, operators, promoters, public relations representatives, and/or organizers of the concert and/or owners owner and operators of the premises” of “conscious disregard of the extreme risk of harm to concertgoers that had been escalating since hours earlier.”

The lawsuit cites a tweet Scott posted on May 5 in reaction to angry fans complaining the show was sold out, with Scott reacting that they would “still be sneaking the wild ones in.”

The suit argues this tweet “recklessly encouraged fans to breach the barriers and otherwise actively encouraged a culture of violence.”

“As proud residents of Houston, we are sickened by the devastating tragedy that took place on Friday night,” attorneys for Souza told Fox News. “Travis Scott has a history of inciting violence and creating dangerous conditions for concertgoers. In fact, he tweeted that he would let the wild ones in after the show sold out. He and those who promoted and supported this concert must take responsibility for their heinous actions. We intend to hold them fully accountable by showing that this behavior will not be tolerated in our great city.”

A street sign showing the cancellation of the AstroWorld Festival at NRG Park on November 6, 2021 in Houston, Texas. According to authorities, eight people died and 17 people were transported to local hospitals after what they describe as a crowd surge at the Astroworld festival, a music festival started by Houston-native rapper and musician Travis Scott in 2018.  
(Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan)

“We will be investigating this tragedy over the next few days and hope to shed light on what happened and provide answers to victims and the families of those victims. No one should ever attend a concert in fear. This must stop,” the statement continued.

While the lawsuits clearly seek to blame Scott and Drake for keeping the show going despite seemingly knowing that the crowd was in peril, Scott’s longtime girlfriend, Kylie Jenner issued a statement on social media Sunday in which she noted that he was unaware of how dire the situation was in the crowd. Scott himself took to his Instagram Story to note that he typically tries to take care of people in the crowd when he notices someone might be in distress. 

Scott, a 30-year-old Houston native, has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards. He shares three-year-old daughter Stormi with Jenner, who announced in September that she’s pregnant with their second child.

Fans during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 5, 2021 in Houston. 
(Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)

In a tweet posted Saturday, Scott said he was “absolutely devastated by what took place last night.” He pledged to work “together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.”

At the same event in 2019, a stampede broke out among the crowd that left at least three people injured. He was reportedly arrested in 2017 for inviting fans to bypass security and rush the stage at a show in Arkansas. That followed a separate incident in 2015 in which he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident at Lollapalooza in Chicago, according to The Associated Press.

Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy, Michael Lee and Garrett Tenney contributed to this report.

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