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Rihanna Says Support for Her Diamond Ball Is 'Overwhelming'

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What does Rihanna love most about her Diamond Ball?

“The energy, the crowd, the vibe,” the singer, 27, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I love everything about it!”

To be held on Thursday in Los Angeles, the black-tie event will benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation, which Rihanna launched in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, Claire and Lionel Braithwaite, and works to improve the quality of life for communities around the world.

“It’s overwhelming to see so many of the people that I care about come together to support a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” the singer says.

Last year’s ball, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, brought out celebrity guests including Brad Pitt and Kim Kardashian West and raised more than $2 million to support the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados. Yet Rihanna says she was most moved by “the fact that my family was there to witness me giving back in honor of my grandparents.”

This year, “I’m really excited for Lionel Richie to perform,” the singer adds. “And with Kevin Hart hosting, it will be a fun night.”