Drinks, Dollars Flow Freely As Rihanna’s Diamond Ball Raises Nearly $900,000
NEW YORK (AP) — At a Rihanna charity event, she will encourage you to drink heavily — so that you donate generously.
The pop star played the role of slick bartender at her third Diamond Ball on Thursday night in New York City, encouraging the audience to drink up and donate money to her foundation at the same time.
“The more you drink, the more inspired you’ll be to donate money … and help kids around the world,” said Rihanna, the founder of the Clara Lionel Foundation, which promotes education and arts globally.
Dave Chappelle worked as Rihanna’s right-hand man. He first told jokes and later joined the auctioneer onstage, even purchasing a Retna art piece for $180,000.
“I have the perfect wall for this,” he said.
When selling two tickets to the Obama Foundation Fall Summit in Chicago, Chappelle said he would throw in his pocket square. It jumped from $200,000 to $201,000.
It eventually sold for $275,000.
Jay-Z, Beyonce, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx and Trevor Noah were some of the A-listers who attended the black-tie event, which included a video message from former President Barack Obama. He thanked Rihanna “for the great work” she’s doing with her foundation.
“You’ve become a powerful force,” Obama said, in helping people find “hope” and “dignity.”
Rihanna launched the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 and named it after her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Many of her family members attended the event and posed for photos on the red carpet with the Grammy-winning singer.
The foundation said at the event they were among the first responders to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and that they’re currently strategizing how best to support victims of Hurricane Irma. The organization has a scholarship program and an oncology and nuclear medicine center in Barbados, where Rihanna was born and raised.
“It’s exciting to come to New York for the first time. It’s the first Diamond Ball on the East Coast, and we’ve been dying to do something like this for a few years,” Rihanna said in an interview at Cipriani Wall Street. “Now is the perfect time. September is Fashion Week. Everybody is here. And we hope that they are in the mood to give back.”
Kendrick Lamar’s performance went into Friday morning, as he worked the stage excitedly with hits like “Humble,” ”Alright” and “Loyalty,” which features Rihanna (she danced in the audience). Calvin Harris, who worked with Rihanna on the hits “We Found Love” and “This Is What You Came For,” followed with a fun DJ set.
NFL player Victor Cruz and rappers Lil Kim, Cardi B, Future, Fabolous and Young Thug also attended the event.
From the auction, Rihanna’s organization raised $840,000.
A necklace featuring 16-carats of white diamonds set in 18-karat white gold went for $130,000; a visit and tasting for four at the Petrus wine estate, along with lunch at the family’s private mansion in France, sold for $80,000; a trip for 12 in the Maldives went for $100,000; and a 15-liter bottle of Nebuchadnezzars champagne, signed by Jay-Z with a personalized note from Rihanna, sold for $75,000.