Dave Chappelle has been tapped to host Rihanna’s third annual Diamond Ball on Sept. 14. The black-tie fundraising gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York will also feature a performance by Kendrick Lamar on a night dedicated to raising money for the Clara Lionel Foundation, an education, health and emergency response organization founded in 2012 by the singer, in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.
“I’m thrilled that the incomparable Dave Chappelle will kick things off as the official host of this year’s Diamond Ball and Kendrick Lamar will take the stage for an unforgettable performance,” Rihanna said in a statement announcing this year’s talent. “I’m proud of the Clara Lionel Foundation’s significant impact in the world over the years and deeply grateful for the continued support and commitment to advancing our mission.”
Past Diamond Balls have featured live sets from Rihanna and Lionel Richie, as well as hosts Brad Pitt and Kevin Hart. Proceeds from the fundraiser go to support the foundation’s work on “innovative education projects and scholarships, healthcare programs and local micro grants.”
Rihanna was one of the honorees of the evening during the 69th Annual Parsons Benefit last night (May 22nd). She shined bright at the dinner wearing an oversized tan suit by Matthew Adams Dolan, a 2014 graduate of the MFA Fashion Design and Society program at Parsons, whom the singer has worn on several previous occasions.
“You can’t really share the stage with Rihanna, which I just learned outside taking photos on the red carpet,”
said Karen Katz of the Neiman Marcus Group, who was along with Rihanna recognized for their work in performance, design, and fostering social good.
During the live auction, just after a Steven Klein commissioned portrait went for $57,000, the bad girl herself finally spoke. The lot at hand was for two tickets to the Fall 2018 Fenty Puma runway show in New York City, including a one-night stay in a five-star hotel and a Fenty Puma product package, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Ciara Lionel Foundation. Bidding stalled at $12,000. That’s when Rihanna chimed in.
“Who’s at $12,000?” she quipped, turning to face the crowd from her dinner seat. “Thank you so much, but if anyone wants to beat that, I’ll even style you for the show. And a free selfie with me and Jay Brown, my manager.”
Wouldn’t you know, the lot doubled, closing at $24,000. (Sybil Yurman, wife of jeweler David Yurman, curiously was the ultimate winner).
But Rihanna was just getting warmed up. By the time she took to the stage to accept her award, she had a message for the students of Parsons. Consider February’s Harvard speech just a warmup.
“Tonight is about you young men and women on a global scale, as we know, who are such beacons of inspiration in every way; I don’t think you get celebrated enough,” she began. “You should be celebrated for every aspect of your growth, and your growing pains. You should be celebrated for your creativity, for your fearlessness, for your persistence and determination, for all of the work that you put into building your future, for being different, for not being enough credit, for not having to use eye cream.”
Pause for laughter.
“It was especially important for me to come to Parsons, because you are all the next generation,” she continued. “We need to invest in you. You’re the ones who see the world through fresh eyes and a new perspective. You’re the ones who care about the future of our planet. You’re the ones who will change the current state of the world. And, unfortunately, you are the ones who are often ignored. Your voices aren’t heard often enough, and you are the ones whose voice need to be listened to. I’m here to say that I’m listening, I’m watching, and you are up next.”
Rihanna’s impact on the fashion world is indisputable. Now the singer has revealed that she will further strengthen her ties to the industry by collaborating with The New School’s Parsons School of Design, Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation and Haitian artists to develop a line of merchandise.
Sales of the product will help support the Grammy winner’s Clara Lionel Foundation, which was founded in 2012 to benefit impoverished communities worldwide in areas like health care and education.
Select students of the art and design school will have the opportunity this summer to work with local Haitian artists at the Design, Organization, Training Center in Port-au-Prince. Karan, Parsons and designer Paula Coles founded the center as a creative meeting place offering vocational training and materials to the Haitian artist community.
“We are ecstatic that our students will have the opportunity to work with and develop a merchandise line for Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, that, like Parsons, shares a strong commitment to creating positive social change,” explained Alison Mears, director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons who was instrumental in launching D.O.T.
On May 22, Rihanna will be honored at the Parsons Benefit in New York City and will reveal the winners of the Design Fellowship program, which sends three Parsons students to Haiti for six to eight weeks beginning in early June.
Today (Feb. 28), Dior announced its partnership with Rihanna’s Harvard award-winning nonprofit organization, The Clara Lionel Foundation.
Founded by Rihanna in 2012, the non-profit is dedicated to funding and facilitating groundbreaking education, health and emergency response programs for impoverished communities globally. In support of Rihanna’s philanthropic efforts, Dior will be donating a percentage of proceeds from each “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirt – made famous on their Spring 2017 runway and Riri’s Instagram – to the foundation.
The t-shirts will be available in all Dior retail boutiques worldwide and Dior.com until May 15, as well as Saks.com (including an exclusive black version) from March 14 to March 28.
Watch Rihanna receive the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian Award of the Year at 1:13:54.
Before launching the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012, Rihanna demonstrated an unrelenting giving spirit from the outset of her career. That commitment runs even deeper as the icon continues to leverage her influence to address a diverse group of global issues.
Today, CLF supports groundbreaking and effective education, health and emergency response programs around the world. With the voices of Rihanna and her fans, CLF also engages in global advocacy with the goal of improving the quality for young people everywhere. Current programs include the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program, the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados and the Barbados Micro Grants Program.
Rihanna formed a partnership with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and international education and advocacy organization, Global Citizen in 2016, to tackle the global education crisis on a broader scale through advocacy. In the lead up to headlining the annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, she called on her fans to ask the Canadian and French governments to increase their commitments to education. As a result of these efforts, Canada pledged to invest $20 million in the Education Cannot Wait Fund.
In January 2017, she traveled to Malawi in her role as Ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education and in partnership with Global Citizen to spend time with the key educators, government officials, mentors, and students who are working collaboratively to build a better future for the next generation of Malawians.
Rihanna’s philanthropic journey began in 2006 when she founded the Believe Foundation at just 18-years old. The goal of the organization was to help terminally ill children by providing critical, emotional, educational, financial and medical support. Over the ensuing years, she performed a series of charity concerts on behalf of the Believe Foundation. Through generous support from sponsor and advertisers, Rihanna’s “A Girl’s Night Out” concerts provided medical and school supplies as well as toys.
Rihanna has supported DKMS, an organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders by helping to find bone marrow donors for patients in need of transplants. She was honored by the organization in 2011 for her efforts.
The singer’s indelible footprint in the fashion world has also helped boost awareness for the battle against HIV/AIDS. In 2008, Rihanna joined a handful of public figures in the designing of a clothing line for H&M’s Fashion Against AIDS charitable project. A percentage of the proceeds from the line are donated annually to Designers Against AIDS and YouthAids.To date H&M Fashion Against AIDS has raised more than $10 million. She was also at the helm of the two Viva Glam lipstick campaigns with MAC, the first of which raised $60 million in 2013 to benefit women and children living with and affected by the disease.
Over the past five years, Rihanna’s charitable impact has encompassed a vast international scope. She has served as an ambassador for UNICEF’s Tap Project, which raises funds to bring clean water and sanitation for children around the world. She has also made generous donations to the Food Bank For New York City in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy as well as UNICEF’s “There for the Philippines” campaign to support survivors affected by Typhoon Hayian.
In 2008 she performed the original song “Just Stand Up!” with 15 other female artists live during the 2008 “Stand Up To Cancer” televised special. All proceeds from the single benefited cancer research and the special helped raise over $100 million. Performing at the House of Blues in Los Angeles in 2012, she helped raise money for the Children’s Orthopedic Center and the Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program at Children’s Hospital in L.A. In addition, Rihanna has supported various other foundations and campaigns. Among them: The Alzheimer’s Association, City of Hope, The Entertainment Industry Foundation, Grammy Foundation, Live Earth, Hope for Haiti Now, Kids Wish Network, MusiCares, Red Cross, Cartier Love Charity Campaign and Chime for Change.
In 2012 she purchased modern radiotherapy medical equipment to install in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados. The center was later renamed the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine in honor of Rihanna’s late grandmother.
Prince Harry and Rihanna took live HIV tests together this morning in Barbados. The British royal and the Diamond singer – who have met in the star’s home nation this week – took them as part of the World AIDS Day at the Man Aware event in Bridgetown.
They are finger prick tests which produce results in 20 minutes, and it comes after Harry took the same test live on Facebook and in front of the cameras in London in July, and was negative.
Harry spoke of the importance of HIV testing and warned that the world is becoming “complacent” about the once fatal disease. The Prince expressed his concerns to a doctor specialising in infectious diseases during a visit to a hospital in Barbados.
“Do you know what you’re doing?” Harry had asked the counsellor who performed the test when she was giving him counselling before the procedure. He then winced as she stuck the pin prick in.
When Rihanna had the same thing done to her seconds later, she laughed. She said: “You made it seem like it hurts. It’s not as painful as you said this morning.”
Harry, 32, persuaded the 28-year-old Barbadian superstar to take the test in public with her today when the pair chatted together back stage for 15 minutes after the Prince delivered a speech at the 50th anniversary celebrations of Barbados’ independence at the Kensington Oval cricket ground in Bridgetown last night.
“She was very happy to do it. She has had people in her life that she has known who have died from AIDS. She said this is important and she wanted to do this.
“She has tens of millions of followers on social media alone. Her people are confident that she can reach a billion people through social media.”
Rihanna ran through her pop and R&B hits at the fifth annual Global Citizen Festival on Saturday (Sep 24th). She closed the show with a number of her smash hits, from “We Found Love” to “Umbrella” to the recent “Needed Me.” Most of the performers thanked the feverish audience for doing acts of kindness to earn the tickets.
As fans waited for Rihanna to perform, Chris Martin — who had just performed — came back onstage to stall. He sang Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” while strumming the guitar, and freestyled new lyrics about why Rihanna was late, which earned laughs and applause from the crowd. He joked that the singer was doing her makeup and said he would perform the Prince song again.
A day before the festival, on Friday, Rihanna was appointed Ambassador of Global Citizen, which teamed up with her Clara Lionel Foundation for a multi-year partnership to advocate for kids. Julia Gillard, the chairwoman of the organisation, took to the mic to cement the partnership, telling the world that “education is the best investment we can make for a prosperous, peaceful, equitable and future-ready world”, and that she was “thrilled” be working with Rihanna.
“We got global citizens in the house tonight — I myself, I’m from Barbados so I came a long way,” Rihanna said between the songs. “There are people all over the globe that need help.”
Watch two videos of Rihanna’s performance after the jump, as well as Chris Martin’s freestyle and Rihanna using a cute Snapchat filter.
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