With the Emmys set to air on Sunday, the first winds of a rapidly approaching awards season are upon us. Many people are already flocking to L.A. for the award show, considered the biggest night in television. It's on the East Coast, though, where the action was to be had on Thursday night. Rihanna hosted her third annual Diamond Ball in New York, and I'm already feel confident that it was better than anything the Emmys, and its seating chart, has to offer.
To get you up to speed, Bad Gal RiRi began hosting the Diamond Ball as the main fundraising event for her Clara Lionel Foundation, which helps fund education, health, and emergency response programs around the world. Thursday night’s event included an auction that, according to Page Six, raised $840,000. Auctioned items included a Retna painting and a diamond necklace that went for $130,000. The foundation said that it is currently strategizing to help victims of Hurricane Irma.
And then there’s the guest list. ‘Will Beyoncé even be there?’ is always at the top of my criteria list for any industry event. Beyoncé. Was. There. As we speak, the internet is losing it over pictures of her and Rihanna together. Oh, and Jay-Z was there, too. It marked the couple's first official appearance together since the birth of their twins in June. Other A-list attendees included Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx, and Barack Obama appeared via an inspirational video in which he called Rihanna a “powerful force.” There were the record executives and tech industry notables who who undoubtedly oversee a lot of the profits that allow talent to donate, according to Variety.
Variety (the mélange, not the media outlet) is the secret ingredient to any good soirée. Sure, it’s a fundraising gala, but it doesn’t have to be boring, especially not when Robyn Fenty’s name is on it. To prove that she can throw a good party, she asked iconic comedian Dave Chappelle to MC. The prolific Kendrick Lamar performed, and Calvin Harris was the official DJ. With attendees like Cardi B., Yo Gotti, Future, and Lil Kim, Rihanna made sure no one could call the event stuffy. Even with everyone in full formal wear, this ain’t ya mama’s fundraiser.
In case you can’t tell, I’m shook… and officially jealous that I couldn’t afford to go. With table sponsorships starting at $25,000 for the event, not many people can. But the fact that this event was for the rich and famous (mainly the rich) isn’t the biggest selling point. The charitable nature of the Diamond Ball sets it apart. Rihanna orchestrating these efforts is just the cherry on top.
Sure, the Oscars will bring out the biggest names in acting. The Grammys will do the same for the music industry. But influencers from the worlds of entertainment, politics, and business will volunteer their time, money, and talents at Rihanna’s behest. None of the attendees were honored or nominated. No one was promoting anything. Everyone came because Rihanna asked them to. That’s seriously next-level.