With wife Angelina Jolie otherwise engaged, Pitt joined a bevy of famous faces at The Vineyard in Beverly Hills for Rihanna’s First Annual Diamond Ball. He took the stage at the charity event, which benefitted the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation, to take some tongue-in-cheek swipes at Rihanna before introducing her, and asked her to look at her life and choices.
“Rihanna. Female phenom. Cultural icon. Provocateur. Advocate… and that voice,” Pitt began, speaking to a crowd that included Kim Kardashian and mom Kris Jenner, Big Sean, Ellen Pompeo and her husband Chris Ivery, Salma Hayek, Nikki Reed, and Kat Graham. See photos of all the stars at the event.
Pulling up an adorable childhood photo of the “Pour It Up” singer, Pitt joked, “I’ve often asked the very question that you yourself are asking right now: What the f–k went wrong? I give you exhibit A: Yes, look at that young girl before you. All full of hopes and dreams. Living a humble existence in the Barbados parish, her whole life ahead of her.”
“And what happened?” the recently wed Fury star continued at the property, which was donated for the event by Victorino Noval of the Victorino Noval Foundation. “It’s not a pretty story. Like so many others, Rihanna landed on the unforgiving streets of New York at the young age of 16, and soon fell in with a bad crowd — a bad crowd led by the dubious nefarious character known as the Jay Z. For those of you not in the know, the Jay Z was an evil impresario known for churning out hit records, and ripping insane lyrics and fresh beats. Needless to say, it was all downhill from there.”
Discovered by a record exec who was vacationing her native Barbados, Rihanna relocated to the United States as a teenager and auditioned for Jay Z before being signed by Def Jam Records. Pitt touched on the massive success Rihanna has seen in the years since as he continued his speech.
“Since turning the ripe age of 26, Rihanna sadly has had only 13 number 1 singles, only 54 million albums sold, only 7 Grammys, 11 Billboard Awards,” he noted. “She has only 90 million Facebook fans, 40 million Twitter followers, and she’s only made the Time magazine Most Influential 100 list once. With all the billions of people in the world she’s only managed to help a few hundred million or so have a better life… Her resume’s even more disappointing: executive producer, fashion designer, actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and uh, something else… and uh, she sometimes sings.”
Fake-mocking Rih’s busy years and unparalleled accomplishments, Pitt then launched into an intervention for the star, asking the other famous guests for their help in getting Rihanna on the right track.
“I hate to see such potential squandered,” he joked. “I believe it’s important that we view tonight not just as a wonderful fundraiser for a great cause, but as an intervention.”
“If we don’t act quickly and decisively and help this young lady find direction and purpose, I fear this will be Rihanna by this time tomorrow,” Pitt continued, showing an altered photo of Rihanna as an overweight woman eating junk food on the couch. “I ask that we stand together, by her side, and show her our support and our love and say to her the hard words. Rihanna, put down that sandwich, get off your ass and do something. God damn it, just do something with your life. Thank you.”
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