Rapid sellout for Kendrick Lamar at Kennedy Center

UPDATE: (3:17 p.m., Sept. 30, 2015)

WASHINGTON — Tickets went on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday and sold out at an “unprecedented” rate, according to the Kennedy Center. At its peak, demand outpaced seating capacity at a rate of five-to-one. The Kennedy Center tweeted the following to frustrated fans:

WASHINGTON — He’s been dubbed “the most talented rapper of his generation.”

Now, multiple Grammy-winner Kendrick Lamar will appear with an orchestra for the first time during a one-night-only concert at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops.

Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke will conduct the program, featuring selections from Lamar’s second studio album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m.

Tickets for Kennedy Center members went on sale Tuesday morning. They sold out quickly. A limited number of tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“To Pimp a Butterfly” broke the previous record for the number of streams in one day, reaching 9.6 million streams in the first 24 hours after the album was released March 15. His songs pack social commentary across genres — jazz, funk, R&B, gospel, hip-hop and spoken word — for an impact so important that the California Senate recently awarded him the state’s “Generational Icon” award.

Lamar’s rise was fueled by the endorsements of hip-hop icons Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and others early in his career, and last year he was named the “future king of hip-hop” by The New York Times. Rolling Stone magazine went a step further, dubbing him “the most talented rapper of his generation.”

As for Lamar’s collaborator, Reineke is one of the nation’s most sought-after pops conductors, composers and arrangers. The 2015-2016 season will be his fifth as Principal Pops Conductor of the NSO, during which he has led performances of Broadway favorites, jazz and hip-hop, most notably his collaboration with rapper Nas, which set the precedent for future shows like Lamar next month.

Tickets go on sale to Kennedy Center Members starting Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m.

They go on sale to the general public starting Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.

Tickets start at $35 and are available in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, and by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.

Click here for more information.

February 24, 2024 | (Jason Fraley)
Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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