On Thursday night, at the Diamond Ball, a black-tie charity event which raises funds for Rihanna’s foundation, the Clara Lionel Foundation, Issa Rae, the night’s host, described Rihanna in the following way: “Singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, fashion icon, philanthropist . . . haver of big-dick energy.” Later Rae claimed that “Rihanna, like, invented clothes” when recalling their meeting at the Met Gala, and joked that her scent is marked by “success and kush.”
Rihanna’s nearly unparalleled star power was certainly the main event on Thursday night and she was the evening’s focal point. Wherever she went in the room, heads proverbially turned. The Diamond Ball, now in its fourth year, and hosted at Cipriani Wall Street, is creatively designed by the clothes-inventor and haver-of-big-dick-energy herself. In addition to Rae’s hosting duties, the night featured a live auction (for which Seth Meyers played “junior auctioneer” to Lydia Fenet from Christie’s), and a performance from (a shirtless) Childish Gambino to close out the night. Rihanna appeared to be extremely enthused for Donald Glover’s performance, singing along to many of the songs and recording Glover with her phone at several points. It’s strange to see Rihanna, whom so many of us have sung along to in the car or at the gym day to day for the past decade, losing herself in the song of a different artist—in a way, that’s perhaps the closest one could get to a “Stars, They’re Just Like Us” moment with someone like Rihanna, to observe her in “fan” mode. (She said earlier, on the red carpet, of Gambino: “[He] happens to be one of my favorites, so I selfishly got him to agree to come here tonight so that he could perform. I’m listening to his music a lot.”)
The auction portion of the event raised money for the Clara Lionel Foundation, named for Rihanna’s grandparents, which benefits impoverished communities globally (with a special focus, this year, on raising money for emergency relief efforts). A few items—a package involving a trip to France, and another to Costa Rica—went for more than $100,000. Tiffany Haddish, who attended the ball, snared a pair of Chopard earrings for $75,000. (And when they arrived at her table later in the night, she stood up and danced in them, showing them off, to the crowd’s delight.) In total, the event raised close to $6 million for the foundation. Meyers, who assisted Fenet in auctioning off the items, began his speech with an admission that probably applied to many in the room: “I’m here because I like being in the same room as Rihanna.” Others in attendance included Odell Beckham Jr., Paris Hilton, Trevor Noah, La La Anthony, Teyana Taylor, Normani Kordei, Jack Dorsey, and more.
Earlier in the evening, Rihanna—who wore a dramatic white lace gown with a large bow placed on the front—told reporters assembled on the red carpet that what keeps her motivated and continually moving forward in all areas (music, fashion, her philanthropic work) is a certain restlessness: “[It’s] my passion, my drive, my soul. I can’t sit still. I get bored. So I have to keep doing something.” She said right now she likes “a bit of everything,” in terms of music, and disclosed she is working on new material right now, don’t worry. What area might she delve into next, having conquered beauty and fashion in addition to music? “Should I tell you?,” she said with a laugh, covering her mouth. “Maybe furniture? But I need time for that.” (So: it’s probably safest to just hold off on that coffee table purchase you’ve been considering for a little bit.)
Rae said, on the carpet before the night began, that while she has gotten to know Rihanna, they are not exactly texting-level friends yet (“I think she’s the kind of person where everyone she meets just wants to be her best friend.”) Rae said the first time she can remember being “all in” on Rihanna was when she released “Unfaithful.” Rae said, “I was obsessed with the movie. [I was like] this bitch really did a music video based on one of my favorite movies??!?” She continued, “And Anti just did everything for people. She’s gonna be here for a very long time.”
Kordei, formerly of Fifth Harmony, said she thinks Rihanna is the ultimate role model for how to successfully be a multi-hyphenate. “Rihanna is the example of the sky being the limit. I watched her [Savage x Fenty Fashion Week] show—seeing the diversity that she had in her show, she’s definitely a visionary. She thinks very forward.” (Kordei selected “Man Down” and “Stay” as her favorite Rihanna songs, in addition to the whole Anti album.) Kordei is currently working on new material (“[There are] a lot of horns,” she offered as a tease), and said that she was very grateful to have been shouted out by name at the Video Music Awards by Nicki Minaj, after a joke at Fifth Harmony’s expense by Haddish. “It was so amazing to see how [Minaj] had my back . . . It was just really beautiful. I feel like we need more of that, especially now. Women are killing it—we need to support one another.”
Earlier in the week, Justine Lucas, the executive director of the Clara Lionel foundation, said, of the specific focus for this year’s event, “Rihanna’s always been really philanthropic. But it’s just over the last few years where we’ve become extremely focused in education and emergency response. The Diamond Ball is kind of our big annual moment where all of our partners come together and all of our supporters. It’s obviously our big fund-raising night. We get to celebrate the work and talk about what’s to come.” Of what it’s like to work with Rihanna, she put it plainly: “[It’s been] absolutely amazing. There’s not much more to say than that.”
Source : https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/09/rihanna-diamond-ball-childish-gambino-issa-rae