Ri­hanna, Dave Chap­pelle team up to raise money for char­ity

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FEATURES - By Mes­fin Fekadu

NEW YORK » 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.

The ben­e­fit raised more than $5 mil­lion.

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.

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