Drake released a statement after making a surprise appearance at the Astroworld Festival, which killed eight and injured over 300 after a deadly crowd surge.

Drake has broken his silence following the crowd surge that left eight people dead and hundreds injured at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival. The rapper, real name Aubrey Graham, 35, said his “heart is broken” for those who lost loved ones on day one of the canceled festival at NRG Park in Houston, Texas on Friday, Nov. 5.

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Drake addressed the “devastating tragedy” in a statement issued on Instagram on Monday, Nov. 8. “I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this devastating tragedy,” he wrote. “I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself. My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering.”

The rapper concluded that he “will continue to pray for all” and “will be of service in any way” he can, writing, “May God be will you all.” Chaos erupted on Friday night at around 9:30 p.m. local time after Travis took the stage for a crowd of roughly 50,000. A crowd surge where attendees began to “compress” toward the stage resulted in a stampede, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said. “That caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” Peña told CBS News. 

Eight people have been confirmed as dead, while 25 were hospitalized. Over 300 people were injured. A number of lawsuits have since been filed against Travis, Live Nation, and other companies affiliated with the event. One civil suit also states Drake, who made a surprise appearance alongside Travis at the festival on Friday evening, as a defendant. Plaintiff Kristian Paredes filed the suit against both rappers and accused them of “negligently inciting a riot and violence,” per CBS News.

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Paredes’ suit alleged that Travis “incited mayhem and chaos at prior events,” while Drake “helped incite the crowd even though he knew” of Travis’ “prior conduct” and “continued to perform on stage while the crowd mayhem continued.” Following the tragic incident, the “SICKO MODE” rapper’s history of criminal charges at past concerts has taken center stage. At Lollapalooza in 2015, Travis was charged for reckless conduct after encouraging fans to rush the stage. He was charged again in 2017 for inciting a riot at his show at the Arkansas Music Pavilion, pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.

Travis issued the following statement on Twitter after the tragedy: “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support.”

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