04/06/2008 AT 12:00 PM ET
Mum was the wedding word from Jay-Z as he hit the stage in North Carolina on Saturday – a day after a friend says he married Beyoncé Knowles – revealing nothing about a ceremony and wearing no ring.
But co-headliner Mary J. Blige on the “Heart of the City” tour couldn’t maintain the same level of silence, shouting to the sold-out Greensboro audience: “Congratulations to my man, Jay-Z, and my girl B,” before starting her set with “You’re All I Need.”
Otherwise, it was musical business as usual for Jay-Z, who stuck to the concert script, performing on his own and doing duets with Blige. Beyoncé was nowhere to be seen, and his only reference to her came when he played a few notes of “Crazy in Love,” then cut it off, saying, “Sorry, B.” But this is something he does at every show.
A couple since 2002, Jay-Z, 38, and Beyonce, 26, have long kept quiet about their relationship, and their reps are still not comfirming a wedding. But a friend tells PEOPLE: “It happened earlier (Friday) evening. Jay wanted it to be a really private affair – close friends and family.”
The ceremony was followed by a lavish party at the rapper’s Tribeca apartment that drew Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles, her father/manager Mathew, her sister Solange, her Destiny’s Child mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and the couple’s friend Gwyneth Paltrow. (See photos of the guests arriving here.)
Reporting by MICHAELE BALLARD
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