Rihanna to Perform on Obama's Inauguration Night?
Inauguration night is getting more star-studded by the minute. We hear the Recording Industry Association of America is hoping to close a deal with dance-pop sensation Rihanna ("Umbrella" and "Disturbia") to headline the RIAA's Jan. 20 inaugural charity ball at Ibiza nightclub.
Rihanna, the Barbados-born artist whose "Good Girl Gone Bad" album launched her to international stardom, would be stiff competition for the talent headlining some of the other hot unofficial inaugural balls. The Creative Coalition, for example, has wooed Sting and Elvis Costello for its bash, while the Impact Film Fund has all but sealed a deal with Kanye West.
RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy declined to confirm the Rihanna buzz. But we're told from sources in the know that the recording industry is in contract talks with her.
To help fund the ball, which will benefit the anti-hunger organization Feeding America, the RIAA is seeking donations of up $200,000.
A solicitation emailed to lobbyists and corporations (which was subsequently forwarded to the Sleuth) listed asking prices of $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $150,000 and $200,000. The lowest level gets you 10 tickets to the ball and your company's logo on the invitation while giving the top asking price gets you 120 credentials to the ball, top billing with the RIAA on the invitation and prominent signage at the event.
It'll be interesting to see which corporations, if any, go for top billing in this brutal economic environment. But the RIAA's move to team up with a charity organization at least provides some gut-check cover to companies anxious about displays of opulence in such hard times.
As Lamy puts it, the ball is a "charitable event that will raise money for [Feeding America] inaugural night."
Mary Ann Akers
December 16, 2008; 5:21 PM ET
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