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Amanda Berry appears onstage with Nelly in her first public appearance.
In 2003, Cleveland, Ohio native Amanda Berry went missing until May 2013, when she was rescued after a decade of imprisonment and rape.
In a story that shocked the United States, it was revealed that Ariel Castro, who was sentenced to life and 1,000 years in prison just this week, kidnapped Berry and two other women, and had been holding them in captivity for years. All three women, and the six-year-old daughter of Amanda Berry, who Castro fathered, were saved.
Berry, now 27, has begun to acclimate herself to the world as it is in 2013. But along the way, she went back to a time before tragedy struck.
On Saturday (July 27), Berry came on stage with her family at a Nelly concert in Cleveland. Nelly's career, of course, was at an all-time-high in 2003, just one year removed from Nellyville, which has gone six times platinum in the United States.
"He said, 'Everyone, here's Amanda Berry,' and she came out with a friend, another young woman," said concertgoer Kayleigh Fladung to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "She didn't say anything, but she was smiling and happy. "She waved to the crowd, everyone went crazy cheering, and she went backstage. Nelly did his set, four or five songs, and then he brought her out again and everyone cheered."
"It was cool to see but still very surprising," added Fladung.
As he brought Berry out, Nelly said, "I want to make sure we get a chance to thank you... because I can't even imagine the type of strength and the type of courage that it took to keep it going. So for that, again, I commend you...and for that, I want you to stay here," before dedicating his peformance of "Just a Dream" to Berry:
The event marked Berry's first public appearance since her horrific ordeal.