France's Macron meets Rihanna at the Elysee Palace
Jul. 26, 2017
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron met singer Rihanna at the Elysee Palace Wednesday after the pop star appealed to him on Twitter for France to contribute to her education fund for developing countries.
Rihanna first was welcomed by first lady Brigitte Macron on the steps of the presidential palace in Paris before she went inside to speak with the couple now living there for more than an hour.
"I've just had the most incredible meeting with the president and the first lady", Rihanna told reporters in the Elysee's courtyard. "They were incredibly welcoming to us."
The popular singer, who was named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year, said the talks "focused on the topic of education from a global aspect." She didn't reveal whether Macron had made a pledge to her fund, but said she was "so inspired and impressed" with his leadership.
The Macrons met Barbados-born Rihanna in her role as head and founder of the Clara Lionel charity foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds education and health programs for impoverished communities across the globe.
The 29-year-old is also an ambassador for Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen, two humanitarian funds with which her foundation has partnered on a multi-year initiative to support education, notably in conflict and crisis areas.
"We're going to make a very big announcement this coming September," Rihanna said without elaborating. She added "we're going to do even more work this October in Africa."
Macron didn't join his wife with Rihanna in front of photographers. Neither the president nor his office commented on the meeting.
Last month, Rihanna, who has more than 75 million Twitter followers, tweeted the newly elected French president: "bonjour @EmmanuelMacron, will France commit to #FundEducation?"
Earlier this week, Macron received pop singer and philanthropist Bono at the Elysee Palace for talks about poverty and educating girls and women in Africa.