A week after a tragic attack in Nice, France, caused Rihanna to pull out from a scheduled concert there, the singer has dedicated a performance to the attack’s victims.
On July 14, at least 84 people were killed in Nice when a truck was driven through a large crowd gathered to watch fireworks for Bastille Day, a national holiday in France. That evening, Rihanna canceled her show, which was scheduled for the next day.
She paid tribute to the lives lost on Instagram that evening, and she continued to honor the victims during a show at Parc Olympique in Lyon, France this week. Before performing the song "Diamonds," she shared a few words.
"This next song I want to dedicate to the people of Nice who suffered. People who have been traumatized, victims and their families," Rihanna said, as the stage lit up red, white and blue to commemorate France’s national flag. Audience members raised their lighters and phones in the air during the performance.
Music is often used as a way for people to show solidarity with each other, and this moment is no exception. There's rightfully been a lot of discussion lately about what role artists can, and should, play in politics and world events, and while Rihanna’s performance won't stop the attacks themselves, it did provide an opportunity for people to comfort and support one another as they mourned an international tragedy.
Music truly does have the power to unite and heal, and at least for one night, in that one moment, Rihanna's music carried that power.
By William Ketchum III, aka @WEKetchum
Photo Credit: Instagram