The organisers of Britain's Glastonbury festival have thrown their support behind beleaguered rapper Kanye West as a petition calling for him to be dropped from the line-up passed the 100,000 mark.
The Stronger hitmaker's place on the bill for the 2015 event has divided fans, and more than 125,000 have added their signatures to a petition urging festival bosses to drop the rapper in favour of a rock act.
Organiser Emily Eavis has now written an open letter to back West as support for the petition swells.
In a note published on Theguardian.com, she writes, "Every year... there are complaints and often outrage. We're well used to that... We've had it in recent years with Jay Z, Beyonce, Metallica and plenty of others... But... we felt compelled to respond this time... We think the story this year should not be: 'Why is Kanye coming?' but: 'How amazing is it that Kanye is coming?'... One of the world's biggest superstars and a music legend, always interesting, never boring. He has agreed to play a festival where headliners get paid a fraction of their normal rate... We think that's pretty great. To say that our headliners should be 'rock' is, I think, a bit silly... I've realised over the years of announcing line-ups that, literally, whoever you reveal will be met with some hate online... It certainly isn't pleasant to be on the receiving end of that. I can't even imagine how it makes Kanye feel... Ultimately, there is no question in my mind that we have got one of the greatest artists of his generation headlining, and we have no regrets at all about booking him... I certainly can't wait to see his performance."
Emily's father, festival founder Michael Eavis, has also shown his support for West by posing for a picture with a sign emblazoned with the words "Yeezy does it!" in reference to the rapper's nickname.
West is joined by fellow headliners Foo Fighters for the event in Somerset, England which runs from 24 to 28 June (15).