Hours Late, Rihanna Takes Stage in Barrington

Students won visit as part of star's "Shine Bright Like a Diamond" video contest

By BJ Lutz and LeeAnn Trotter
|  Saturday, Mar 23, 2013  |  Updated 8:25 AM CDT
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Barrington High School students waited for hours on the first day of their spring break for a visit by a very tardy Rihanna. LeeAnn Trotter reports.

Barrington High School students waited for hours on the first day of their spring break for a visit by a very tardy Rihanna. LeeAnn Trotter reports.

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She was more than four hours late, but pop star Rihanna finally took the stage Friday afternoon at Barrington High School, leaving many wondering "Where Have You Been?"

The Barbados-born singer didn't acknowledge her tardiness but instead went right into discussing the student-produced video that earned her visit.

"This is awesome," she told the crowd. "I wanted to come here because I was so impressed ... I was very touched seeing the video. I wanted to make sure I came and expressed that to you guys in person."

Her visit in the northwest suburb -- slated for 1 p.m. -- was scheduled on a day when the school was to be closed for spring break. She was also scheduled to perform at the United Center later Friday night.

Students began lining up outside the school at about 10:30 Friday morning. Those who remained in the school's gymnasium while waiting for the star were said to be patient and well-behaved, dancing to music from her and other current artists.

She finally appeared at about 5:30 p.m., but by that time some students had left the school, feeling the artist was a no-show.

In a tweet, Rihanna blamed her delay on Chicago traffic.

During the hours-long wait, a school official at one point said Rihanna sent an apology and offered up free tickets for her show later in the evening.

Barrington High School students won the honor of the visit by winning the star's "Shine Bright Like a Diamond" video contest. The production highlighted student involvement with community organizations such as Gigi’s Playhouse, Relay for Life, Walk On Farm, Best Buddies and others.
 
The contest, judged by Rihanna and her representatives, was created to honor and recognize schools and students who are giving back to their community and reward overall school spirit and creativity.

Students' Winning Video

 

The Talk: Barrington Students Talk of Contest, Rihanna Visit

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