July 28, 2015


Rihanna Had Hopes to Do a Free Baltimore Concert & March With Protesters

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO

Rihanna made her opinion known during the civil unrest in Baltimore earlier this year, sharing during the protests a photo of a black police officer in riot gear, eyes filled with tears.

But as it turns out, the "Bitch Better Have My Money" singer wanted to do much more than a social media post. In documents released by the Baltimore Sun, Rihanna and her representation filed a request to perform a free concert in Baltimore shortly after protests and rioting broke out—and even professed interest in marching on the street with protesters.

A message from a Baltimore officer sent to Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, who at the time was the head of media relations for the police department, noted: 

"Rihanna wants to walk with protesters as well as perform a free concert. He added that she will we be arriving by plane and in an effort to divert press/media she will be traveling to the city by train (or by car if necessary)."

The info came from a conversation the officer had with a Rihanna rep. The officer added in the message, "[He] stated that they had hoped to secure some extra police security and was directed by the Governor's office to seek assistance through Communications."

However, an update from police via a situation report indicated that Baltimore police nixed the free concert, citing that they the permit didn't come through.

Instead, Prince played a concert on May 10 in Baltimore, performing "Baltimore," a song he wrote about the unrest. The protests occurred after Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was arrested by police in April and fell into a coma while being transported in a police van afterward. Gray died, reportedly after injuries to his spinal cord. His death was later ruled a homicide, with a grand jury indicting several of the officers who handled his arrest.