'Rihanna' Pranks Ottawa On New Year's Eve

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Ottawa, you've been punked.

Shoppers at Rideau Centre were thrown for a loop Friday when they saw Rihanna walking through the mall — except it, er, wasn't her.

Somali comedians "The Cool Ciyaal" posted a video showing Ayan Ali, one of its members, dressing up as the songstress on New Year's Eve.

The pranksters surrounded the fake Rihanna with people dressed up as bodyguards, paparazzi, and even a PR rep.

The entourage then walked through the mall, and several people snapped photos and asked for selfies.

Social media, naturally, blew up with confusion:

Rihanna gave a shout out to Ottawa when she wore a Senators hockey jersey in 2013, which is maybe why Ottawans thought an appearance could actually happen.

rihanna senators

Sadly, the singer actually rung in the new year at 1 Oak in New York City.

The prank took two weeks to put together, member Hodan Hujaleh told CBC News.

But don't feel too bad, Ottawa. Rihanna might visit one day. (Just don't expect her on New Year's Eve.)

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