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Nelly performs in Iraq to support soldiers fighting ISIS

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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 4:21 PM

Nelly performs in a concert in northern Iraq on Friday.Seivan M. Salim/AP

It’s getting hot over therre.

“Hot in Herre” rapper Nelly took the stage Friday for a concert in Erbil, Iraq, for a charity concert sponsored by the nonprofit Rwanga Foundation.

Nelly was drafted to perform in northern Iraq as part of the foundation’s mission to “assist the most vulnerable of the populace in Kurdistan, Iraq and in the greater global community.”

The organization declared in a statement that Nelly was the “first American artist to perform in the city’s 8,000 year history.”

PHOTO TAKEN FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015Seivan M. Salim/AP

Two Kurdish soldiers, known as the peshmerga, wave during Nelly’s rap concert.

PHOTO TAKEN FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015Seivan M. Salim/AP

I U.S. rappers Nelly, right, and Ali perform in a concert in Erbil, Iraq.

PHOTO TAKEN FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015Seivan M. Salim/AP

U.S. rapper Ali spreads a representation of the Kurdish flag during the concert.

PHOTO TAKEN FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015Seivan M. Salim/AP

Audience members in traditional Kurdish dresses watch Nelly’s performance.

PHOTO TAKEN FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015Seivan M. Salim/AP

Audience members watch U.S. rappers Nelly and Ali perform in a concert in Erbil, northern Iraq.

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Prior to taking the stage for his historic performance, the “Country Grammar” rapper was welcomed by Erbil governor Nawzad Hadi.

Joined by fellow rapper Ali, Nelly then performed a show held during an annual soccer tournament – but was greeted by mostly empty seats.

Still, those who attended seemed excited to see the celeb, including waving Iraqi flags during his performance.

Besides the St. Louis-based rapper, “Arab Idol” contestant Ammar Koofy and motocross star Andre Villa also performed for the crowd.

Nelly at least had a fan in Villa, who gushed about Nelly’s performance on Instagram, “The Kurds went crazy!”

Nelly’s concert was reportedly held to raise money for the peshmerga, the Kurdish military forces fighting ISIS. But the show is clouded in controversy, with rumors that the star was paid six-figures to perform in Erbil.

“Surely money would be better spent if given directly to refugees & peshmerga families rather US rappers,” a disgruntled Kurd tweeted Friday.

“#KDP’s latest weapon to fight #ISIS: Nelly. He will rap ISIS back (to) the stone age,” he added.

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