Rihanna arrives 3-and-a-half hours late for school charity gig

Pop star blamed Chicago traffic for keeping students at Barrington High School waiting

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The Independent Culture

When Justin Bieber turned up two hours late to a concert at London’s O2 Arena earlier this month, there was a minor national crisis.

But now Rihanna has put the young pop star’s efforts in the shade by arriving more than three-and-a-half hours behind schedule for a gig at a Chicago school yesterday.

Students at Barrington High School won the chance to meet the Barbadian singer in a contest to make a video set to her “Diamonds” single that would highlight their fundraising work.

However, some pupils felt less than charitable after the "Umbrella" singer’s 2pm set was pushed back to 5.35pm.

“It’s one thing to be fashionably late. This is just rude,” student Patricia Halle told the Chicago Tribune, nicknaming the gig the “survive Rihanna event”.

“Our lives don’t revolve around a pop star. Our school worked hard to win this. She should be more respectful.”

The majority of students are said to have greeted her arrival with “wild applause and Beatlemania-type screaming”.

Rihanna explained the delay by tweeting a photo while she was on her way to the venue, saying: “This Chicago traffic is not working.”

She remained enthused about the event, adding: “I can’t wait to meet these kids man!! They’re major inspirational life changers.”

It’s not the first time Rihanna has been chastised for her timekeeping. Journalists invited on her 777 whistle-stop tour of the world last year complained about constantly being kept waiting for the star.