Drake releases statement on Astroworld tragedy following lawsuit

"I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself," Drake wrote on Instagram.

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Rap superstar Drake took to Instagram in an early-morning post Tuesday to share a statement about the deaths at Friday’s Astroworld Festival, where eight people were killed in the trample of a chaotic crowd surge. 

The statement was Drake’s first words on the tragedy, part of which occurred while the Canadian rapper was actually onstage. 

Drake, who shared on Instagram his sentiments about the recent Astroworld Festival deaths, is shown at his ‘Til Death Do Us Part rap battle late last month in Long Beach. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

“I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this devastating tragedy. I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself,” wrote the emcee. “My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering. 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’s performance came early in the set of Travis Scott, where the two performed “Sicko Mode,” their hit single from Scott’s third studio album, Astroworld

A new report from Variety notes that Scott’s extravagant solo stage — which was constructed at a cost of $5 million for a one-time use — as well as other factors, like the start time of his set and the use of a countdown clock, may have contributed to the crowd’s frenzied behavior, which led to the deadly crowd surge. 

Drake is currently promoting his new single, “Knife Talk,” featuring 21 Savage and Project Pat, from his 2021 album, Certified Lover Boy. 

The four-time Grammy winner is being named as a defendant in a lawsuit related to the mass-casualty event. 

As previously reported, a fan named Manuel Souza, who said he was injured at the event, filed one of the earliest suits.

“Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner,” wrote Steve Kherkher, Souza’s attorney, in a lawsuit obtained by Billboard. “Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors.”

Souza claimed in the suit that organizers “made the conscious decision to let the show go on” even after paramedics began tending to wounded crowd members “despite the extreme risk of harm to concertgoers that was escalating by the moment.”

“Eventually, due to defendants’ active decision to let the show go on,” it says, “the scene devolved into a complete melee, resulting in the needless, untimely death of at least 8 people and injuries to scores of others.” 

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