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Rihanna Makes Surprise Appearance at Costume Gala

May 5, 2009 9:11 AM ET

Rihanna made a surprise appearance at the annual Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum gala in New York City last night, marking the first time the "Umbrella" singer has hit a red carpet since her alleged altercation with Chris Brown in February, the AP reports. The singer donned a Dolce & Gabbana suit and bowtie, and was the last celebrity to walk the red carpet; she did not speak to reporters as she entered the museum. Madonna, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake also attended the annual fashion event.

(Check out photos of Rihanna, Madonna, Kanye West, Jack White and the other stars who hit the Met costume gala red carpet.)

While Rihanna made her official return to the red carpet, her return to the stage has been delayed. According to E! Online, Rihanna has postponed her planned show in the United Arab Emirates that was scheduled for May 28th, incidentally the same day of Chris Brown's next hearing; Brown has pleaded not guilty to two felonies stemming from the February 8th incident that led to both stars canceling their Grammy appearances. "We want to share with you that Rihanna and her management will not be accepting to hold a public concert at this time as it is not appropriate timing for her," concert organizer Yassin Matbouly said, adding that he hopes to reschedule the singer for the fall.

Still, Rihanna's appearance at the Costume Institute's gala was a significant step for the young star, and a sign that she may be preparing to get back to work after she began a period of seclusion following the altercation. Rihanna's lawyer previously said that his client wants Brown's trial to end as quickly as possible so Rihanna could move on, preferably without testifying against her ex-boyfriend. Yesterday news broke that Ciara plans to keep her duet with Brown, "Turntables," on her new album Fantasy Ride, which hits stores today.

Related Stories:

Chris Brown Pleads Not Guilty To Two Felony Counts At Arraignment
Chris Brown Charged With Two Felonies In Rihanna Assault Case, Faces Up to Nine Years In Prison
Rihanna and Chris Brown's Grammy Weekend: Photos

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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