Did Rihanna and Katy Perry attend the Met Gala? No, but AI had fans thinking otherwise

Photos of Rihanna and Katy Perry, each in their latest Met Gala best, circulated Monday on social media. But the singers’ online glamour shots came with a crucial accessory: a disclaimer.

“This is either AI, or digitally altered. Rihanna, has at the time of this post, not yet arrived at the Met Gala,” reads an X (formerly Twitter) community note accompanying a photo of what seems to be the “Love on the Brain” singer in an intricate and abstract floral gown.

The Rihanna photo was one of several AI-generated images fooling fashion enthusiasts and fans on X during the 2024 Met Gala on Monday. The high-profile charity and fashion event returned to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the launch of the exhibit “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

As celebrity guests — from co-chair Zendaya to longtime attendee Kim Kardashian — donned their “Garden of Time”-themed attire on the green-tinged carpet, photos of their looks quickly dominated X. Caught up in the influx of red carpet photos were the fabricated images of Rihanna and Perry.

Within moments, AI Rihanna’s look garnered praise on X: “She ate with no crumbles.” “Yeah her designers be going CRAZY come Gala time.”

The user who uploaded the photo was swiftly called out for using AI, but defended the image from critics, doubling down on claims that it was “real.”

AI images of Perry supposedly at the gala sparked similar conversations.

“Katy Perry. That’s it. #MetGala,” one X user captioned their AI photo of Perry, wearing a floor-length gown with floral appliqués. In the pic, the fake Perry poses on the iconic Met Gala steps — which boast a different color scheme than the real event. That photo, which now touts a community note in Spanish, had garnered more than 314,000 likes as of Tuesday morning.

In the comments, fans praised the fake look. “Ok she won,” wrote one X user. “Wowwwww,” said a second fan. In the comments, other users expressed their skepticism.

“All the cameramen with weird hands,” one X user commented.

“235k likes in an hour for a fake image…. we are so over,” another X user joked.

A second AI photo of Perry, shared by the user who made the Rihanna image, also made the online rounds, but saw the singer in a completely different “Garden of Time”-inspired outfit. Instead of the floor-length gown, this glamour shot showed Perry sporting the wet-hair look and a dress with a bodice resembling tarnished metal and a floral skirt.

On Monday evening, Perry shared that her mother was also duped by the AI images. “Couldn’t make it to the MET, had to work,” she captioned her post.

In a screenshot of a text message exchange, her mother writes, “Didn’t know you went to the Met…what a gorgeous gown, you look like the Rose Parade, you are your own float lol.”

Perry responds in a text: “lol mom the AI got you too, BEWARE!”

Rihanna, on the other hand, has not publicly addressed the AI images, nor her absence from the celebrity gathering. The 10-time Met Gala attendee apparently had the flu, ABC News reported Tuesday.

Co-chaired by Chris Hemsworth, Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez and Bad Bunny, the 2024 Met Gala touted high-fashion red carpet appearances by singer Tyla (who went viral after security lifted her up the Met stairs), Colman Domingo, Sam Smith and Greta Lee, among others.

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