×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Childish Gambino Rocks the Diamond Ball While Rihanna Fangirls in the Front Row (Watch)

The singer's annual charity gala drew Tiffany Haddish, A$AP Rocky, Jack Dorsey, Seth Meyers, Gayle King — and raised nearly $6 million.

Without putting things in too crass a context, of all the music-related gala events, Rihanna’s Diamond Ball is probably the sexiest. Like no other artist except, of course, Beyonce, she brings together music, fashion, money, entrepreneurship, branding, sports — she even joked on the red carpet that she might get into furniture next — and over the past decade she’s been a pioneer in the artist as a brand. An invitation to her Ball is among the most coveted in several of the above named industries.

And while her fourth annual gala, held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on Thursday night, was a bit lighter on jaw-dropping starpower than last year’s event — unlike 2017, neither Bey and Jay-Z, who were performing in New Orleans on their “OTR II” tour, nor Leonardo di Caprio were in the house — the 650-odd exceedingly well-dressed guests just had to make do with host Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane, late-night hosts Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah, Gayle King, athletes Odell Beckham Jr. and CC Sabathia, actor Brian Tyree Henry, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Normani, Meek Mill and Teyana Taylor, as well as an electrifying 45-minute performance from Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) that found Rihanna herself right in front of the stage, dancing and waving and singing along, her purse in one hand while she pointed at Glover with the other.

Most importantly, it raised nearly $6 million for Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation —which the singer founded in in 2012 and named after her grandparents — for global education projects and scholarships, emergency response programs and local grants. All of the auction items — which ranged from the first 2019 Audi electric car and diamond Chopard earrings to vacations and very high-end champagne and cognac — drew at least five-figure sums, most drew six, and the top-dollar item was a five-night stay at a “private paradise” in Costa Rica complete with a submarine ride, which brought in $260,000.

As “junior auctioneer” Seth Meyers said, “Who knew that when Rihanna sang ‘Bitch Better Have My Money,” that is was going to education?”

It’s a long night but a simple one in terms of format: there’s a cocktail reception, a dinner, a live auction and, finally, an abbreviated but satisfying musical set from an A-list artist (last year’s was Kendrick Lamar, in 2016 it was Lionel Richie). During the cocktail hour-plus, comics Meyers, Noah and Roy Wood Jr. stuck together, as did the Atlanta contingent of Gucci Mane, wife Keyshia Ka’Oir and Quality Control chiefs Coach K and Pierre “Pee” Thomas, while Paris and Nicky Hilton worked the room. Other music and music-related execs spotted in the crowd included Def Jam chief/Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg, Motown head Ethiopia Habtemariam, Alamo Records chief Todd Moscowitz (seated with the Atlanta contingent) and Endeavor’s Bozoma St. John.

Glover was seated with friends at a large table next to the stage, graciously greeting the few people who approached him. He disappeared during the auction and emerged onstage, shirtless, with his black-clad 10-piece band (including four backing singers). He danced and gyrated and popped faces as they raced through a set focused primarily on his newer material like “Feels Like Summer” and 2016’s “Awaken! My Love” album, capping off the set with a rousing take on “This Is America” and, finally, an extended vamp though his Grammy-winning hit “Redbone.” Glover appeared to be having the time of his life during the set, calling out and pointing at everyone from Rihanna to some friends from Atlanta.

DJ Mustard took the stage after Glover had finished and pumped up the crowd as people gradually dispersed into the steamy night.

 

More Music

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Concert Review: Yoko Ono Saluted By

    Concert Review: Yoko Ono Earns a Wide-Ranging, All-Female Salute at Disney Hall

    Yoko One was — is — nothing if not an artist of many facets, as someone who started out in the most avant-garde corners of the visual and performance art worlds and ended up having a flair for conventional pop songwriting. Both sides, the disrupter and the sentimentalist, were celebrated in a wide-ranging tribute concert [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D6-2160.cr2

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content