It seemed like a big deal in the Kimye sphere on Thursday when TMZ reported that Kim Kardashian West plans to keep Kanye West’s last name post-divorce. But that development was nothing compared to what would happen just hours later, at the rapper’s third listening event for his chaotically elusive album Donda. Kardashian West not only joined him on the stage of Chicago’s Soldier Field stadium for his final song, titled “No Child Left Behind,” but did so wearing a wedding dress, first approaching West as if she were walking down the aisle.
That West’s latest Donda preview would include a recreation of his 2014 nuptials isn’t entirely surprising. The affair had a strong autobiographical tone. The stadium’s set featured a lifesize replica of his childhood home. But the fact that Kardashian West—who filed for divorce from West in February—was the one to help make it happen seemed so outlandish, many Yeezy fans are still wrapping their heads around the fact that it was actually her beneath the face-obscuring Balenciaga couture veil. (His relationship with the house remains strong: Ahead of the event, which Demna Gvasalia creative directed, West bought out the L.A. Dover Street Market’s entire Balenciaga inventory.)
While Kardashian West has previously posted Instagram Stories from West’s past Donda listening parties, she has yet to acknowledge attending his latest on social media. But according to TMZ, anyway, she considered her participation in the event a no-brainer: “Our sources say Kim was happy to do it for Kanye and the event, which was so important to him,” the site reported amidst the aftermath, which largely consisted of virtual onlookers practically losing their minds on Twitter. Because of course, this being Kanye—aka Ye, as he’s hoping to soon be known legally—that wasn’t all the night had in store.
Kardashian West was preceded onstage by not one, but two of those currently most embroiled in controversy in the music industry: Marilyn Manson and DaBaby. West brought them out at the show’s beginning. (Multiple women have accused Manson of sexual abuse and assault, while DaBaby is fresh off a series of stunning displays of ignorance about those living with HIV/AIDS.) You could describe the evening as relatively calm from there until right before Kardashian West appeared, at which point West (or a stunt double) lit his entire body on fire. Perhaps it was all an effort to distract from the fact that Donda’s release date remains entirely TBD.