Marilyn Manson makes appearance at Kanye West’s ‘Donda’ Chicago album playback event

At the climax of the event, West came face to face with Kim Kardashian, who was wearing a wedding dress

Kanye West brought out Marilyn Manson and Kim Kardashian at his ‘Donda’ album playback event that just took place Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Manson appeared on the stoop of a church-like structure West built in the centre of the stadium. When photos of the construction of the structure circulated online before the event, many noted its resemblance to West’s childhood home.

Manson, along with a masked figure many online thought to be DaBaby, walked out onto the porch alongside West as the first song of the event, rumoured to be titled ‘Jail’, began to play.

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Marilyn Manson appears at Kanye West Donda Chicago album playback event
Marilyn Manson at the Kanye West ‘Donda’ album playback event in Chicago. Credit: Screenshot of Apple Music livestream

DaBaby delivers a guest verse on the song in question, which seems to be a different version from one that was played at West’s two previous listening parties for the album, which featured Jay-Z. It is unclear if Manson has any creative involvement with ‘Donda’ at this time.

Marilyn Manson appears at Kanye West Donda Chicago album playback event
Marilyn Manson at the Kanye West ‘Donda’ album playback event in Chicago. Credit: Screenshot of Apple Music livestream

Manson has been accused of sexual assault and abuse by multiple women since his former partner Evan Rachel Wood, and other women, publicly made allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against him in February. Manson has consistently denied the allegations, calling them “horrible distortions of reality”. He was dropped from his label Loma Vista shortly after.

Since then, it’s been reported that Manson is facing four different sexual assault lawsuits, the latest one filed by model Ashley Morgan Smithline last month.

The latest development came last month, as Manson dismissed allegations of sexual assault and abuse made by actress Esme Blanco, who filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles. He labelled the allegations as “untrue, meritless” and part of a “coordinated attack by multiple plaintiffs”.

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Other guests appeared throughout the ‘Donda’ event, most notably Kim Kardashian, who appeared on stage towards its conclusion, reportedly wearing a couture Balenciaga wedding dress and veil.

Wedding bells rang as she walked to meet West on stage, with West removing his balaclava and flashing a smile before the lights went out and the event finished.

Kardashian filed for divorce from West back in February, after almost seven years of marriage. TMZ reports that the couple aren’t getting back together despite Kardashian’s appearance at the event, though a source told the publication that “they’re forever family”.

Ahead of Kardashian’s appearance, West sat alone inside the structure as it was set ablaze. He emerged wearing a fireproof suit that was covered in flames, which were put out by a stagehand with a fire extinguisher.

It’s rumoured that other guests that joined West, Manson and DaBaby on the stoop include Travis Scott, Don Toliver, producer Mike Dean and dancehall singer Shenseea.

‘Donda’ appears to have been updated extensively since West’s second listening event. Besides Jay-Z, it appears that Kid Cudi is also absent from the album’s latest version.

Kid Cudi previously said he wasn’t on the original cut of ‘Donda’, but revealed that West reached out and they “made it work” ahead of the second listening event.

In addition, a song has been added to the tracklist that heavily samples or interpolates Lauryn Hill’s 1998 classic ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’. Features from The Weeknd, Lil Baby and Playboi Carti all appeared to have remained on this iteration of the album.

The church-like structure in the centre of Soldier Field was surrounded by chained fences and several black SUVs, with a large troupe of people wearing Donda-branded riot gear circling the perimeter.

Photos of merchandise from the event shared online show one shirt with an image of a target on the back, and another with ‘2024’ embroidered on it – perhaps a reference to West’s promised presidential run.

The ‘Donda’ listening event at Soldier Field is the third of its kind to take place in the past few weeks, with one taking place in late July and the other earlier this month – both in Atlanta. All three events were live-streamed on Apple Music.

At time of publication, the album ‘Donda’ has not been released. It was expected to drop after the first listening party, and again after the second, though it never materialised. Kanye West’s manager, Bu Thiam, recently said that the album would drop at some point following the conclusion of the Chicago event. The album’s page on Apple Music lists a release date of September 3.

The Soldier Field event did not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry, though vaccinations were offered on-site in a similar initiative to one held at the second event. However, at that event, reportedly only four out of 40,000 attendees opted to take the vaccine.

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