rihanna wanted to perform a free #blacklivesmatter gig
Police emails reveal that she intended to walk alongside protesters and perform in Baltimore, but didn’t get a permit.
Emails have emerged that appear to show Rihanna's people attempted to organise a free gig for #blacklivesmatter protesters in Baltimore in the weeks after the death of Freddie Gray, an otherwise healthy young black man who sustained fatal spine injuries whilst in police custody.
In an email to the Head of Media Relations for Baltimore Police, an officer explains a conversation with the Bajan singer's representative, who, "advised that Rihanna wants to walk with the protesters as well as perform a free concert," along with various details of her travel arrangements, reports the Baltimore Sun. The email was forwarded on to the Police Commissioner and the Mayor's office, but a police update from the same day, 1 May, suggests the plans had to be shelved due to permit issues: "Possible Rihanna Concert at Penn & North… No time given. Police are claiming they have no permit so it will not be allowed."
Rihanna was obviously unable to put on the free show, but Prince did perform at a free concert titled Rally 4 Peace, where he revealed a new song dedicated to the people of Baltimore; the show was streamed live on Tidal. Tidal owner Jay Z and partner Beyoncé are also rumoured to have supported the #blacklivesmatter campaign financially, donating money to bail out protesters and support the growth of the movement.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Paolo Roversi
Fashion Director Alastair McKimm