Just a day after rocking New York Fashion Week with her Savage x Fenty show, Rihanna once again returned to Cipriani’s Wall Street in New York for her fourth annual Diamond Ball which helps to raise money for her Clara Lionel Foundation.
The Grammy winning superstar invited a number of A list guests to the ball which included co-host Golden Globe nominated Insecure creator and actress Issa Rae, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Donald Glover, Tiffany Haddish, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, Jack Dorsey, Gayle King, A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane, Teyana Taylor, La La Anthony, Fabolous, Gayle King, Meek Mill, Nipsey Hussle, Skylar Diggins and Justine Skye among many others.
Singer Justine Skye spoke about how meaningful both Rihanna and the Diamond Ball is to her telling us, “Well Rihanna means the world to me when it comes to fashion, music everything. I extremely admire her for her philanthropic duties. This is my second Diamond Ball, and I’m really really excited for this one. She just levels up every time no matter what she does.” Skye who performed a tribute to music legend Janet Jackson at the BMI awards last month also discussed her interaction with Janet, “Well, it wasn’t really that long of a conversation, you know Ms. Janet is extremely busy and I also get starstruck and don’t know what to say to people, even though I know this is my moment and my time and I may never get this moment again and I literally blackout. So she didn’t really get to give me any advice, but just hearing her thank me for doing this tribute to her, I thank her so much because she’s been such a huge role model with the way she’s carried herself throughout her career, she’s just been very graceful in remaining on top.”
Rihanna arrived on the carpet wearing a white Alexis Mabille gown and while at the ball she told the press, “Clara and Lionel are my grandparents who have instilled in me the importance of giving back … So to be able to raise funds for global education, health and emergency response programs around the world at this magnitude is an ode to them and our greatest achievement.”
The Knockturnal caught up with Issa Rae on the white carpet in which she spoke briefly about her favorite scenes from this season of Insecure. “I think a lot of them happened [episode] five. Episode five is one of my favorites we’ve ever done just because of the scope and the ambition. And seven, in seven something is coming up a sequence that I really like,” said Rae.
Teyana Taylor who has been busy with a tour, tv show performances (her most recent being on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon), modeling on the runway at New York Fashion week and balancing motherhood spoke about her hopes for her character on the next season of BET’s ‘Hit the Floor’ saying, “That London beats Jamie’s a-s again because Jamie is a godd-mn mess!”
At the ball, Global Citizen’s CEO Hugh Evans received the 2018 Diamond Ball Award for his humanitarian efforts. Attendees enjoyed Rosé Champagne from Armand de Brignac, poured from rare metal-coated jeroboam bottles, while being entertained by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) who performed a number of his songs including Grammy winning single “Redbone” and at the request of Tiffany Haddish sang his summer hit “This is America” as she danced in the crowd. DJ Mustard also deejayed a musical set to keep the music going. A live auction was held, which was co-hosted by Seth Meyers and one lucky bidder won an all-new Audi e-tron, which is the first ever in the United States. Sponsors for the special evening included Puma, Live Nation, The Chris & Loretta Stadler Family Foundation, Mark Scheinberg, The Butter Group and Audi of America.
The Clara Lionel Foundation announced earlier in the year that they have launched a $25 million emergency response philanthropic fund. The fund is an effort to change the response approach to a proactive one, through prearranged access to food and water, generators, temporary shelters, and hygiene products as well as issue grants to relief organizations within 48-hours of a disaster. At last night’s ball, the foundation announced that they will donate the first $1 million to the fund, while Executive Director Justine Lucas also announced that CLF is committed to raising all $25 million by next year’s Diamond Ball. In total nearly $6 million was raised at this year’s Diamond Ball in support of the foundation.