Rapper Jay Z wows Glastonbury Festival

LONDON Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:32pm BST

1 of 38. U.S. artist Jay-Z performs at the Glastonbury Festival 2008 in Somerset, June 28, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - The controversial choice of American rapper Jay-Z to headline Glastonbury proved to be a masterstroke by the event's organiser Michael Eavis as the hip-hop star wowed the music festival on Saturday.

Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher had called hip hop at Glastonbury "wrong" and traditionalists in Internet chatrooms had said they would have preferred a band like Radiohead, while critics also blamed the rapper for slow ticket sales.

In a nod to Gallagher, Grammy Award-winner Jay-Z -- married to singer Beyonce -- took to the stage to the strains of the Mancunian band's hit "Wonderwall", before running through a repertoire of his own hits, including "Hard Knock Life".

"They say you don't want me here, Glastonbury," queried the rapper. "Now tell me, where is the love?"

That question was answered by huge cheers from the crowd, whose only disappointment was that Beyonce did not make an appearance.

"That was a real triumph to bring hip-hop from the streets of New York to Glastonbury," Eavis told the BBC on Sunday.

"All that doom and gloom about ticket sales, but we were completely sold out by Thursday and it we had such a younger audience."

Prior to Jay-Z's appearance, soul singer Amy Winehouse played an hour-long set after receiving treatment for a lung condition which her father said was caused by smoking crack cocaine.

"It was such a huge crowd watching her and I think she became a superstar last night," added Eavis, who said that Winehouse had asked him to let her headline the Festival next year.

By Saturday, Somerset and Avon police said there had been 379 reported crime incidents, including drug offences, compared to 168 at the same stage last year.

The vast majority of non-drug related crime were reports of thefts from tents which now stand at 203.

(Reporting by John Joseph; Editing by Matt Falloon)