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Drake Wants Out of Astroworld Lawsuits, Arguing He Was ‘Not Involved In Any Planning’

The star rapper, who was on stage with Travis Scott during some of the deadly concert, says he shouldn't be named in the massive litigation.

Drake performs onstage during "Lil Baby & Friends Birthday Celebration Concert" at State Farm Arena on December 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Drake performs onstage during "Lil Baby & Friends Birthday Celebration Concert" at State Farm Arena on December 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prince Williams/Wireimage

Drake is pushing to be dismissed from the sprawling litigation over the 2021 disaster at Travis Scott‘s Astroworld festival, arguing that he had nothing to do with planning the deadly event and can’t be sued for simply showing up for a brief guest appearance.

More than 2,500 people have sued over the 2021 disaster, during which a crowd of fans rushed toward the stage during Scott’s Nov. 5 performance, leaving 10 dead and hundreds injured. Though the lawsuits mainly target Scott, Live Nation and other organizers, Drake was also named as a defendant in some cases because he appeared on stage during Scott’s deadly performance.


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But in a motion filed Friday (Mar. 8) in Houston court, attorneys for Drake (real name Aubrey Drake Graham) argued that the star should not be involved in the case at all. They said he had no involvement in Astroworld beyond being asked to take the stage — and that festival organizers had “confirmed under oath that Mr. Graham was not involved in any planning.”

They also say that Drake was unaware of any safety problems before he took the stage. “Mr. Graham did not receive any security briefings, was not informed of any crowd control issues, injuries or deaths in the crowd, or any stop show orders at any time either before or during his 14-minute performance.”

Instead, they say that Drake merely “arrived at the venue at approximately 7:30 PM and remained largely secluded backstage in a trailer until approximately 9:54 PM,” at which time he was “informed to take the stage.” The star then “immediately took the stage as requested, performed for approximately 14 minutes, and then exited the stage at 10:08 PM.”

The lawsuits over Astroworld claim that organizers were legally negligent in how they planned and conducted the event, including by failing to provide adequate security and emergency support. The cases, combined into one single large action in Houston, are seeking billions in potential damages. Much of the last two years has been spent in discovery, as the two sides exchange information and take depositions of key figures.

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In Friday’s motion, Drake’s lawyers argued that the discovery process had resulted in “hundreds of hours” of depositions and “hundreds of thousands of pages of documents,” but that none of it had established that Drake could be held liable for negligence.

“Plaintiffs produce no evidence that Mr. Graham actually knew of any risk in the Festival site design and layout, competence or adequacy of Festival staffing and personnel, or emergency procedures such as show stop authority,” his lawyers wrote.

The alleged victims, represented by an array of plaintiffs law firms, will have a chance to respond to Drake’s motion in the weeks ahead.

This article was first published by Billboard U.S.

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Mélanie Renaud
Courtesy photo

Mélanie Renaud

Music

Obituaries: Quebec Singer Mélanie Renaud, Saxophone Legend David Sanborn

This week we also acknowledge the passing of English keyboardist John Hawken and soul/ska singer Jimmy James of The Vagabonds.

Mélanie Renaud, a Quebec singer, died on May 14, at age 42, from ovarian cancer.

The Haiti-born artist, who was adopted by Quebecois parents when she was eight months old, was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer more than seven years ago.

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