Rihanna’s Diamond Ball Will Honor Shaun King, Mia Mottley

Rihanna’s Diamond Ball Will Honor Shaun King, Mia Mottley

Singer Rihanna attends the 4th annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

This year, Rihanna’s Diamond Ball will honor Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and civil rights activist Shaun King. Both will receive the Diamond Ball Award at the fifth annual event, set to take place September 12.

Pharrell and DJ Khaled are slated to perform.

“I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” said Rihanna in a press statement. “I am particularly honored to present Prime Minister Mottley and Shaun King with this year’s Diamond Ball Awards for their groundbreaking work. We are so thankful to them for joining us and making the night better than ever.”

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“The Barbados Prime Minister’s carries the reputation of a trailblazer in politics. After becoming the first woman elected to lead the Barbados Labour Party, Mottley went on to serve as the first female Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados. Her career is also recognized for her work in spearheading progressive programs such as the Education Sector Enhancement Program, which aims to increase the amount of young people contributing to the social and economic development of the country through school facility and technology rehabilitation along with teacher training and curriculum reform,” Variety reported.

There has been some backlash in Rihanna’s other honoree choice — King, a controversial activist/writer. The Morehouse graduate is known for, among other things, relaunching the Frederick Douglass publication “The North Star.” He also co-founded social justice lobbyist organization Real Justice PAC which focuses on electing prosecutors of all levels who support criminal justice reform.

Comedian Seth Myers will host the formal event, which will benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization created by Rihanna to fund education and emergency response programs throughout the globe. The Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program has current programs in Malawi, Senegal, and the Caribbean. It also recently announced a new partnership with International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region and Engineers Without Borders USA to build reproductive health facilities in the Caribbean.

“Rihanna started the Diamond Ball in 2014 to help support her foundation, named after her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Over the years, the non-profit has funded over 59 global projects and committed $13 million in grants. Last year alone, the ball raised almost $6 million for CLF’s education and emergency response programs throughout the globe,” ET reported.

According to Billboard, Rihanna has not yet revealed a location for the 2019 Diamond Ball, although for the past two years it has been held at New York City’s Cipriani Wall Street.