Hours late, Rihanna finally arrives at Barrington High

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Rihanna, at last.

The Barbadian singer arrived at Barrington High School, more four hours and 30 minutes late for her much-anticipated appearance, administrators say.

The overwhelmingly female crowd had been patient in waiting for her arrival after the school won a visit from the star. Teens have been chatting on their phones, grabbing snacks and braiding each other’s hair. Many have been at the school since the doors opened at noon.

Rihanna was originally supposed to start her visit at 1 p.m.; on Thursday evening, the school announced that had been pushed back to 2 p.m. As of 5 p.m., she still wasn’t at the school. She was introduced to the crowd at about 5:30 p.m.

While the singer did eventually show up, students who had been waiting for hours became frustrated.

“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, who nicknamed the afternoon “the survive Rihanna event.”

“Our school worked hard to win this. She should be more respectful,” Halle said.

Her friend Cassie Mullay said she was thinking about leaving, having waited since 1 p.m. “It’s so rude.”

Seventh-grader Jaki Mora said: “Rihanna is pathetic. She shouldn’t be making us wait for her.”

At 4:22 p.m., Rihanna tweeted a picture from inside her vehicle and wrote, “This Chicago traffic is not working.”

Principal Steve McWilliams said he had spoken to Rihanna earlier in the day, who apologized for being late and sent more tickets for her United Center show to be handed out to students.

The DJ – said to be the pop star’s personal DJ, whom she sent ahead of her to entertain the crowd as they wait – is playing music while photos of the pop star are being shown on a big screen.

As the wait for Rihanna continued, the DJ  hosted an impromptu dance contest, with a pledge that the winner will get to go backstage at her United Center concert tonight.

The school won the visit with Rihanna – hours before she’s due to perform at the United Center – after winning a contest she sponsored. She invited schools to produce videos set her “Diamonds” single that would highlight charitable work. Barrington High’s video, produced by students of the BHS-TV class, is a montage of shots that shine a light on several different philanthropic initiatives in which the school participates. Among many other service projects both local and nationwide, the school has assisted tornado victims in Joplin, Mo., and Natives American who live on a reservation in South Dakota.

“With a whole lot of polishing and collaboration, we can all shine bright like a diamond,” says the narrator of the video.

Rihanna’s website said the contest was intended to honor the “most creative and inspiring lipdub or video that includes a giving back to your community (and world!) message.”

About 2,500 people assembled in the gymnasium of the northwest suburban high school awaiting Rihanna’s arrival.

A school official announced that someone in the crowd will win an autographed Rihanna CD and tickets to her show tonight at the United Center.

By Susan Berger
Special to the Tribune

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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  • Caligula

    And just what does this woman have to offer young women? The fact that she tolerated abuse and then went back to the guy? Yea… you parents who let your kids go to this need your heads examined.

    • kathleen


      So just because a woman likes to instagram nude pix of herself while smoking marijuana , you think she's not a positive role model for today's young women. Obviously the parents in Barrington think differently. More proof that having money does not equate having common sense.

      • Caligula

        @ Guest… There are literally dozens and dozens of people more capable of delivering the right message. If Rihanna is the type of person you want delivering that message and if you are being serious, then you need your head examined.

      • Mr.B

        @ Caligula…Dude, STFU!!! All you do is sit behind your little computer, criticize and give your worthless opinions.

      • Caligula

        LOL… speaking of worthless douches…. I'm surprised you have brains enough to even work on a computer. Go back to your jungle dude.

    • Ali

      Rihanna, MANY TIMES, has said she's not a role model. It is the PARENTS' job to teach their children right from wrong, not hers. Rihanna is a young adult, still human, still having fun. Why don't you go out there and preach to the masses, be a role model. Lay off, dumbass.

  • Brian Millersmith

    What a C U Next Tuesday. Useless B-word. I hate the C-word twat. Hope she croaks. Crappy wench. I loved bands like FOGHAT who actually cared about their fans…

    • Guest

      If you don't like her so much, why go on an article about her? Clearly you're envious of something… Go find a band to worship.

  • Punch

    Late=First world problem!

    Those rich kids had that contest already in the bag!

    Money talks!

    And one of those kid’s parents had the money!

  • Pissed Off

    Late doesn't begin to describe it. She walked in to the gym at 5:40 and left at 5:52. Twelve minutes.

    My friends and I gave up a day of Spring Break for that crap? We got to the gym at 9 in the morning. We waited 9 hours for her to be there twelve minutes.

    At least I have something to do today. Burn my Rihanna CDs.

  • CLC

    You all are just jealous. Stfu and let riahnna visit them cause they won a contest, I could have went but I didn't, cause I go to a different school and we get out at 2:50 and probably couldn't have made it anyways. I wish I would have went though, cause I'm not far from barrington n