Rihanna kicks off Ambani-Merchant pre-wedding extravaganza with “electrifying” performance

In her first full concert in eight years, Rihanna performed 17 songs, including some of her greatest hits, such as ‘Work,’ ‘Diamonds’ and ‘Pour It Up’ as fireworks lit the sky

Updated - March 03, 2024 01:51 pm IST

Published - March 02, 2024 06:24 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

Isha Piramal, Anant Ambani, Rihanna, Nita Ambani, Shloka Mehta Ambani, Akash Ambani and Radhika Merchant react on the stage during pre-wedding celebrations of Anant and Radhika in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, March 1, 2024

Isha Piramal, Anant Ambani, Rihanna, Nita Ambani, Shloka Mehta Ambani, Akash Ambani and Radhika Merchant react on the stage during pre-wedding celebrations of Anant and Radhika in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, March 1, 2024 | Photo Credit: Reuters

International pop star Rihanna performed her greatest hits on Friday as the who’s who of Bollywood, sportstars, and business tycoons from India and abroad were arrived in Jamnagar for Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding festivities.

Guests and celebrities attending the party — themed ‘An Evening in Everland’ — shared videos of her performance on their social media channels, calling the pop star’s renditions “electrifying”. According to sources, Rihanna performed 17 songs, including some of her greatest hits, such as “Work”, “Diamonds”, and “Pour It Up”, as fireworks lit the sky. The singer left India on Saturday morning. 

The Ambani family has lined up other performances over the next two days for their guests. Top Bollywood artists, singers Arijit Singh and Diljit Dosanjh, and illusionist David Blaine have all arrived in Jamnagar for the star-studded celebrations. 

‘Not all a bed of roses’

Before Rihanna’s performance, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani welcomed wedding guests and became emotional as his younger son, the bridegroom, talked about the health issues he faced in his childhood.

“My family has gone all out to make me feel special. My life has not entirely been a bed of roses. I have experienced the pain of thorns. I have faced many health issues since childhood, but my father and mother have never let me feel that I have suffered. They have always stood by me,” Mr. Anant Ambani said.

Also Read | Shah Rukh, Aamir, Salman Khan dance to ‘Naatu Naatu’ at Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding bash

Rich and famous on guest list

The 1,000-strong guest list for the three-day wedding of the son of one of the world’s richest men include others on the global rich list such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and global business tycoons such as Laxmi Mittal, Anand Mahindra, and Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who heads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Top Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Singh are also set to attend. About 400 charter flights are transporting guests from around the world to the wedding venue.

The events are being held at Reliance Green’s sprawling campus adjacent to the giant refinery complex 25 km from Jamnagar. The RIL refinery is considered the world’s largest grassroots energy complex. Another mega green energy project, spread over more than 5,000 acres, is under construction in the same area. 

On Saturday, badminton star Saina Nehwal took her Instagram followers on a video tour of the air-conditioned luxury tent she is staying in as a wedding guest, equipped with all amenities. Her video shows battery-operated vehicles driving down a pathway through a tent city set up for the guests.

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