Rihanna, one of America’s most iconic music artists, is famed all across the world for her illustrious music career, various forays into acting, and her infectious personality and character. The winner of nine Grammy’s has a diverse discography which spans a number of distinct styles – but what genre is Rihanna?
Rihanna’s primary genre is pop, which is why she is often referred to as a pop star. But anyone who loves Rihanna’s music will know that her art is not truly bound to any one single genre, her music spans across a range of other genres such as hip hop, R&B, EDM, reggae, and even dubstep.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, popularly known as just Rihanna, is a hugely successful Barbados-born artist and her impact on American pop culture has been immense. Signing with Def Jam Records at the age of sixteen and releasing her first album in 2005, Rihanna is no newcomer and her star-studded discography and past projects speak volumes about her consistent creative output.
What Are Rihanna’s Most Famous Songs?
With 14 number-ones, 31 top-ten singles in the US, and over 250 million records sold, Rihanna has become one of the world’s best-selling artists. In fact, her series of hits has landed her on the Artist 100 Chart for an astonishing 234 weeks.
Her single, Umbrella, which was released in 2008 and features Jay-Z, is one of the star’s most cherished hits and was so popular at the time that it earned her and Jay-Z a Grammy Award for the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Allegedly, the song was originally meant for Britney Spears, but the pop star never heard the song, so it was eventually offered to Rihanna.
Rihanna’s 2010 hit What’s My Name?, featuring Drake, topped charts all over the world from Hungary to the United Kingdom and received a positive critical reception from media outlets around the country. However, Rihanna’s performance of the song on X Factor did land the artist in hot water, in what has been since described as a “raunchy” spectacle.
We Found Love, Rihanna’s 2011 hit, saw the pop star team up with Scottish DJ and Record Producer, Calvin Harris. This upbeat dance track was the first single from Rihanna’s sixth album and sat at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks.
Following the release of We Found Love, Harris told the media that in terms of his own career “it was the best thing that could have happened… It changed absolutely everything.” The collaboration’s success and the chemistry between the two artists brought them together again to work on Harris’ 2016 hit This is What You Came For.
Rihanna’s 2011 track, S&M, once again took the charts by storm, and has been described as an “an ode to sex, sadomasochism, bondage, and BDSM fetishes”. Upon release, the hit was banned in over ten countries due to its “overt sexual content”, and BBC 1 Radio in the UK actually refused to play the song before 7pm.
In response to the critical reception of the song’s lyrics, Rihanna told the media that she was “thinking metaphorically”. She went on to say: “It’s more of a thing to say that people can talk… people are going to talk about you, you can’t stop that. You just have to be that strong person and know who you are so that stuff just bounces off. And I thought it was super bad ass.”
Rihanna’s Personal Triumphs
Away from the various successes of her career as a high-profile artist, Rihanna has also received universal adoration for overcoming challenges in her personal life.
In 2009, it was revealed that Rihanna had been domestically abused by her boyfriend at the time, Chris Brown. After she had been attacked by the R&B star, Brown was sentenced to community service and domestic violence counselling.
Reflecting on the incident, Rihanna told the media: “I just never understood that, like how the victim gets punished over and over. It’s in the past, and I don’t want to say, ‘Get over it,’ because it’s a very serious thing that is still relevant; it’s still real.”
Rihanna: The Global Icon
Ultimately, Rihanna’s colossal success as an artist is perfectly reflected in her personal achievements and philanthropy. In 2012, Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, which seeks to “support health and education projects around the world”.
In Barbados, Rihanna is so widely adored and idolized that there is actually an annual Rihanna Day where Barbados locals come together to celebrate the artist’s life and music. For fans keen on a day of Rihanna-based festivities, the day is celebrated on February the 22nd every year.