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Following the tragic, unexpected death of his mother, Donda, from complications that arose during surgery over the weekend, platinum-selling musician and producer Kanye West has released the following statement.

“Kanye West, his family and friends would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and kind words that have come in from across the country since the death of his mother, Dr. Donda West.

After working in higher education for 31 years, Dr. Donda West and Kanye West co-founded the Kanye West Foundation with the mission of helping to combat the severe dropout problem in high schools across the country. The first and signature initiative of the Kanye West Foundation is Loop Dreams. Designed to capitalize on students’ existing interest in hip-hop, Loop Dreams challenges students to learn more about what’s behind hip-hop culture in order to help them develop skills, express themselves creatively and be empowered.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Dr. West’s name to the Kanye West Foundation/Loop Dreams Teacher Training Institute. Those donations can be made by visiting the Foundation’s Web site, www.KanyeWestFoundation.org or by mail at Kanye West Foundation, 8560 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.

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