Jay Z encouraged his fans to “sing along for Chester” as he dedicated a song to Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington during his headlining slot at V Festival.
Before he performed his collaboration with the band Numb/Encore, he said: “Tonight we are going to dedicate this song to Chester.”
Bennington was found dead aged 41 in his home near Los Angeles in July and his death was ruled a suicide.
He instructed the lighting technicians to turn off the spotlight on him as he said: “Sing along for Chester.”
At the end of the song he told the audience in Hylands Park in Chelmsford: “That was f**king beautiful.
“That was the end of the show but I’m having such a good time I’m going to have to play one more.”
He went on to dedicate Young Forever to Bennington and comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who died earlier over the weekend at the age of 84.
He said: “We want to dedicate this to Chester, we want to dedicate this to Dick Gregory and all the beautiful people that we have lost. Their energy is never gone.”
The rapper appeared on a stage dominated by a giant silver balloon dog by the artist Jeff Koons, in a white hoodie and black baseball cap.
He opened his 90 minute set with his hit Public Service Announcement from The Black Album before moving on to tracks including Heart of a City (Ain’t No Love), 99 Problems, Empire State of Mind, Run This Town, Big Pimpin’, Paris, Dirt Off Your Shoulder and songs from his new album 4.44.
During his set he scolded security for patrolling the front of the stage.
He said: “We going to give it up but we got to establish some rules.
“You are walking back and forth like you the police.”
He also encouraged fans to wave flags and form mosh pits as he paid tribute to them for staying out in the pouring rain to watch the show.
He said: I always have a great time when I come to England.
“I appreciate every one of you standing out in the rain. It’s not lost on us.”
He closed his set saying: “What an incredible show. It feels like a second home to me here. I’ve been coming here since 1989.”
The rapper headlined the first night of the dual-site festival in Weston Park in Staffordshire on Saturday.
Singer Pink, who headlined in Essex on Saturday, played at the Staffordshire location on Sunday.
Earlier in the day Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sande, Jason Derulo and Stormzy played in Essex, where the Mercury-nominated star said grime needs to be on the main stage every year from now on.