June 1, 2020

Rihanna stops the music

Much to the dismay of die-hard fans of her Top-40 radio hits including “Umbrella” and “Disturbia,” the College Union Board (CUB) announced Monday R&B singer Rihanna declined a bid to perform at the College’s Spring Concert.

The announcement came in the form of a campus-wide e-mail around 11 a.m. Monday.

In late September, the Student Finance Board (SFB) approved a $126,387.30 bid for Rihanna. The sum was authorized by the Board of Trustees in late October. College policy requires the Board of Trustees to authorize expenditures more than $28,000.

According to CUB director Katerina Gkionis, due to scheduling difficulties, Rihanna could not commit to the intended appearance date at the College immediately after the Board of Trustees’ approval. CUB afforded more time to Rihanna to consider the offer, which she eventually declined.

“She is working on her album,” Gkionis said. She added that Rihanna also turned down a $300,000 bid to appear at a private party close to the intended date of the College performance.

“It kind of made us feel better that hey, we’re not the only ones,” Gkionis said. She added, “It’s hard to book someone so far in advance.”

CUB must confront the predicament of finding a replacement for Rihanna on short notice. The search for an alternative performer began Thursday, Nov. 13. Students received a CUB e-mail that said Rihanna’s response was still pending.

The e-mail linked students to a survey of alternative performances by R&B, hip-hop and alternative rock musicians.

Gkionis said 1,600 people responded to the first survey.

Monday’s CUB e-mail announcing Rihanna’s rejection linked students to a narrowed-down version of the survey.

“This is the end result, the top choices from the other survey,” Gkionis said.

As of Monday afternoon, Gkionis said more than 1,300 people responded to the second survey. The survey closed at 10 p.m. Monday night.

Hip-hop and R&B artists included Ne-Yo, Lupe Fiasco, Jordin Sparks, Ludacris and N.E.R.D.

Alternative rock acts included OAR, Jason Mraz, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, Katy Perry and Ben Folds. David Cook, Girl Talk, Lady Gaga, Kat Deluna and Black Violin were listed as potential opening acts.

CUB will have to appear before SFB again to receive funding for the new musician.

The Board of Trustees will consider approving the sum at its December meeting.

Gkionis said the student body will likely know who the replacement performer is after Winter Break.

Cristina Kohler, freshman business marketing major, said she was disappointed.

“That sucks,” she said. “I got my hopes up. I really wanted to see her.”

Casey Tinston, sophomore English secondary education major, was slightly more optimistic.

“I think it’s a little disappointing,” she said.

She added, “But there are lots of other great artists that might come to the College, so I’m still excited.”

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