Rihanna hosted her second annual Diamond Ball on Dec. 10 and welcomed guests such as Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and Lionel Richie into her star-studded event to raise money for her Clara Lionel Foundation. The foundation was introduced in 2012 to honor Rihanna's late grandparents, Clara and Lionel Brathwaite, and works to bring about awareness and assist underprivileged global communities with improving the quality of life, significantly in the areas of health, education, arts and culture. The well-known rebel was missing in action on Thursday, and in her place, a classy woman dripping in Cartier diamonds stood before her A-list celeb friends and asked them to support a worthy cause.
The singer, who can often be found on the blogs for her private life almost as much as her music, was quick to tell partygoers on Thursday, "This evening is not about me. Tonight is about extending a helping hand to others when they need it most."
And help they did, with the sometimes subtle--and always hilarious--prodding of the evening's host, comedian Kevin Hart: By the end of the event, Rihanna and her famous comrades had raised over $3 million for the charity, which beat last year's number by a whopping $1 million.
Part of those funds were raised through a live auction featuring items such as front-row tickets to the Puma by Rihanna AW16 fashion show, a guitar signed by Bono and an original oil on canvas painting done by Roy Nachum, the artist responsible for Rihanna's upcoming Anti album's cover art. In a rare serious moment, Hart addressed Rihanna: "Your heart is a heart of gold. And tonight, everybody's heart in here will become a heart of gold, because we are going to follow in Rihanna's lead."
Rihanna was clearly focused on the good the foundation can do for children all over the world that night, and she made it clear how much the support of others in the industry means to her.
"It feels good to have all of these people stop what they're doing and get dressed up to come out and donate money to this charity for an amazing, amazing cause," the "Umbrella" singer told E!. "They want to change lives and it feels special."
The night ended on a high note (as if raising $3 million isn't enough) when music legend Lionel Richie performed. He took the crowd through well-known hits such as "Easy Like Sunday Morning," "Brick House" and, of course, "Hello," joking beforehand, "There is a song I need to reclaim..."
Congrats to Rihanna on a very successful night.
Below, we flash back to Rihanna's performance last year at the inaugural Diamond Ball.