Rihanna came under fire for leaving 2,500 students at Barrington High School waiting for more than three hours for her arrival. The chart-topping artist was originally set to greet the high schoolers in the suburban Chicago at 1 P.M. Friday, March 22 but she didn't show up even though the clock struck five in the afternoon.
"It's one thing to be fashionably late. This is just rude. Our lives don't revolve around a pop star," said junior Patricia Halle as quoted by Chicago Tribune. The student nicknamed the afternoon "the survive Rihanna event." Seventh-grader Jaki Mora agreed, "Rihanna is pathetic. She shouldn't be making us wait for her."
At reported one hour and a half late, the Bajan singer tweeted, "On my way to Barrington High School in Chicago!! I can't wait to meet these kids man!! They're major inspirational life changers." She blamed the traffic for her tardiness, posting a picture from the back of her chauffeured car, "This Chicago traffic is not working."
The DJ reportedly sent ahead of her to entertain the crowd played music as her photos were shown on the big screen. Some students decided to leave to finish their work while others stayed and participated in an impromptu dance contest. The winner would receive access to go backstage at her United Center concert later in the day.
RiRi's appearance at the school was part of the reward given to the students after they won her sponsored "Diamond" video contest. When she finally entered the gym about four hours and a half late, she barely addressed her tardiness. Wearing a varsity jacket and a red pencil skirt, she said, "Thank you guys for coming and waiting."
The "We Found Love" hitmaker then proceeded to praise the school charity works highlighted in the video sent for the contest. "I was so impressed and touched seeing the video. I wanted to come and express that to you in person," she gushed and then congratulated the producers of the video. "Keep up the good work," she added.
Principal Steve McWilliams said RiRi had apologized to him for being late. She also sent more free tickets for students to attend her concert. The singer reportedly only stayed for about 15 minutes despite her hours-long lateness. She posed for pictures with some lucky students before taking off to prepare for her show at the United Center.