At least one entertainment media outlet thought that Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley drew attention equal to that Rihanna at the pop superstar’s annual Diamond Ball, but when interviewed the island’s leader gushed only about the child of the soil who now entertains the world.
Rihanna had singled out Mottley as one of two persons to be recognised at the superstar’s fifth annual Diamond Ball, held at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street last Thursday.
But according to the Hollywood Reporter, Mottley’s attendance at the downtown Manhattan affair was more than just an appearance.
“Though a Givenchy Haute Couture-clad Rihanna certainly stole the spotlight, one of her guests commanded similar attention: Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley,” the entertainment magazine stated.
The Barbados PM who last year May broke the glass ceiling for females by becoming the island’s first elected leader, was honoured with the 2019 Diamond Ball Award for breaking barriers.
“Throughout Mottley’s 25-year career, she has been a stalwart advocate for education in Barbados, as well as championing causes which empower youth and women,” the citation noted.
The magazine reported, “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”.
Mottley told the magazine that Rihanna carries the Bajan DNA wherever she goes.
“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.
“Her legacy is going to be global, but I think it’s also going to very much be coloured by her Barbadian upbringing and the values that she received while she grew up and was nurtured in our country. And she is still very much a part of it. How she speaks and how she behaves is as Barbadian as you get.”
Writer and civil rights activist Shaun King also received the Diamond Ball Award Thursday night.
The 2019 Diamond Ball raised at least $5 million. The money goes to charities in places that include Rihanna’s homeland, other areas of the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. It is distributed through the CL Foundation, named after her grandparents Clara and Lionel Brathwaite.
The world leading singer, fashion and beauty mogul told the Associated Press of dreaming of someday growing up to be rich with helping others was at the forefront of her vision.
“It’s always been important to me before any success.
“As a kid, just seeing those commercials on television with the kids in Africa where it’s like, ‘It just takes 10 cent or 25 cents to help somebody’, I used to think, ‘When I grow up, I’m a gonna be rich and I’m going to make a lot of money and I could make a lot of 10 cents and a lot of 25 cents’.”
She also told the Hollywood Reporter, “My grandmother taught me that it only takes one person, doing one thing, to help someone else,” Rihanna said at one point during the evening. “It doesn’t matter if it’s one dollar or a million. It’s about the collective joining forces to make a difference and that is why I am so thankful for all of you tonight.”
As usual the Diamond Ball was chockfull of who’s who of the entertainment and fashion world including Cardi B, Normani, 2 Chainz, G-Eazy, Megan Thee Stallion, Karlie Kloss, Shanina Shaik, Slick Woods, YG, A$AP Rocky and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.
During the event’s auction portion, Cardi B shelled out $111,000 for a rare signed photo book of Rihanna, curated by Nikolai and Simon Haas, that features 1,000 images of the ‘Work’ songstress and came with a custom-built marble stand.
The evening’s entertainment concluded with performances from Rihanna’s pals Pharrell Williams and DJ Khaled.
She added to the performances by joining Williams onstage to sing their 2017 track ‘Lemon’ live for the first time together.