Washington: It was a remarkable evening for singer Rihanna when scores of Hollywood A-listers came out to show support at Fifth Annual Diamond Ball, held at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street, profiting the superstar’s Clara Lionel Foundation.
Though the singer donned a Givenchy Haute Couture and stole the limelight, one of her guests commanded similar attention: Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Mottley — who made history in 2018 after she was elected as the first woman Prime Minister of the Caribbean nation (where Rihanna was born and raised) — was honoured with the 2019 Diamond Ball Award for breaking barriers.
However, when talking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the charity gala, hosted by Seth Meyers, Mottley sidestepped her own achievements to focus on Rihanna’s contributions to their beloved island. Barbados is one of the areas that receive assistance from CLF — founded by Rihanna in 2012 and named after her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite — which benefits impoverished communities across the globe, with an emphasis on health, education, arts, culture, emergency response and combatting climate change.
“It’s so special what she’s been able to do. Barbados is a place where we believe in helping those who cannot help themselves or who are not strong enough to carry themselves. And Rihanna has been able to exhibit that so beautifully in all that she’s done. She carries with her the DNA of the country,” said Mottley.
“When we became an independent nation [in 1966], our prime minister at the time said that we should be friends of all satellites of men. That requires nobility of spirit, that requires an ability to also recognize that you are as strong as the weakest among you. That’s what Rihanna represents for us,” she added.
Applauding and praising the efforts of the singer was actor Naturi Naughton who believed that the multi-hyphenate is doing everything to give back with her cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, and her lingerie line, Savage x Fenty.
“The people that she is servicing, they are no longer the last thought. It isn’t her being reminded that she has to do this, that she needs to make any last-minute additions to placate a certain community,” said Kehlani.
“Rihanna’s so inclusive when it comes to colour and size. The people that are typically not represented in fashion and beauty are the first people she’s thinking of. That’s so dope.”
Some other prominent stars who attended the big event include Cardi B, Normani, 2 Chainz, G-Eazy, Megan Thee Stallion, Karlie Kloss, Shanina Shaik, Slick Woods, YG, and a recently de-jailed A$AP Rocky among others.