Pop reggae star Rihanna will headline next weekend's fall Lawnparties concert at Quadrangle Club, USG social chair Andrew Heyman said Saturday.
Heyman described Rihanna, the singer of the recent hits "Pon de Replay" and "SOS," as a desirable performer for Princeton not only musically but also intellectually.
"Rihanna's music is a departure not only from the Lawnparties acts of the past three years, but also from a lot of the music that we usually hear at Princeton in general. I wanted to do something new and different for this show, but I also wanted something that Princeton students would enjoy and relate to," Heyman said in an email.
"Not only is she an internationally known artist whose popularity continues to rise, but Rihanna's story is also fascinating and compelling."
Rihanna, 18, is the daughter of an Irish-Guyanese father and Barbadian mother. She was discovered by a music producer visiting Barbados two years ago and was soon thereafter signed by Def Jam Records, after auditioning for rapper Jay-Z.
"Pon de Replay" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and "SOS" peaked at number one on the same list, her first number one single.
The concert, cosponsored by Quad, the USG and the Alcohol Initiative, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 17 and is the first major campus-wide social program of the year.
Heyman said luck had a part in his signing Rihanna.
"Over the summer ... I realized that Rihanna was in the process of making the jump from 'star' to 'superstar,'" he said. "The problem is that the USG budget doesn't usually allow the Social Chair the freedom to bring in a huge established act. But I was able to secure Rihanna right when she was on the cusp."
Last spring's USG-sponsored concerts hosted rock band Guster and rapper Ghostface Killah. Last fall's headliner at Lawnparties was rap group Jurassic 5. Profits from the sale of Jurassic 5 Lawnparties t-shirts went to Hurricane Katrina relief.