Rihanna was part co-host and part bartender for her third annual Diamond Ball Thursday night in New York City, raising a reported $840,000 for her Clara Lionel Foundation, which promotes education and arts globally.
“The more you drink, the more inspired you’ll be to donate money … and help kids around the world,” Rihanna told the crowd, according to Page Six.
Co-host Dave Chappelle served as Rihanna’s right-hand man, regaling the guests with jokes and later joining the auctioneer onstage, even purchasing a Retna art piece for $180,000, Page Six reported.
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…and eventually sold for $275,000.
Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx and Trevor Noah were among 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 to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and that they’re currently strategizing how best to support victims of Hurricane Irma. The organization also 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.”