Hometown hero Kobe Bryant may have blistered the Eastern Conference during the first half of Sunday night’s (February 20) NBA All-Star Game, but it took Rihanna , Drake, and Kanye West to bring the Los Angeles crowd to their feet, with a rollicking performance during half-time of the gala sporting event.
Wearing a jet black ensemble and flanked on either side by string instrumentalists, RiRi opened the set with an orchestral arrangement of her hit “Umbrella,” before segueing into the faster tempo of “Only Girl” and “Rude Boy.”
Rihanna was joined on stage for her fourth song when collaborator and rumored former paramour Drake jumped up from the audience to sing the duo’s hit “What’s My Name.”
The rapper might have even scored the most points of the night by managing to work “Happy Birthday” into the song’s lyrics for Rihanna, who was celebrating turning 23-years-old.
But with apologies to Drake (and Chris Paul), the assist of the evening came from Kanye West, who made a surprise appearance at the Staples Center to join Rihanna in singing the pair’s new single, “All Of The Lights,” just one day after the release of the song’s video.
Backed by three large video screens that flashed disorienting, bright colors at lightning speeds, the performance was almost a recreation of the video, in fact, particularly the section inspired by Gaspar Noe’s 2009 French film “Enter the Void.”
As with any All-Star game, though, all the stars weren’t on stage. While Rihanna, Drake, and Kanye performed, Jay-Z, Sean Combs, and MVP of the celebrity All-Star game Justin Bieber among others sat courtside.