5 Years Since ANTI: Rihanna’s Move From Music Into Mogul

WHILE SHE HAS YET TO RELEASE THE COVETED ‘R9’ ALBUM, RIHANNA HAS GIVEN FANS PLENTY OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS AS SHE EVOLVES AS A BRAND.

In 2005, fans of an emerging pop star Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty rushed home to catch her debut single “Pon De Replay” on 106th And Park. Now, the “Navy” of stans has pledged allegiance to the sovereign empire built by the Barbados-bred talent. Although the multihyphenate star made her first [and last] name popular through song, Rihanna has proven she’s not afraid to set new standards, and that energy has carried through to numerous other endeavors. UPON RELEASE, AS THE EIGHTH LP IN THE SINGER’S DISCOGRAPHY, ANTI ALSO CAME AFTER A DIFFERENT HIATUS. PRIOR TO THE ALBUM DROP, UNAPOLOGETIC WAS RELEASED IN 2012. BEFORE THAT, ALMOST EVERY YEAR SINCE HER 2005 BREAKOUT, THE STAR RELEASED NEW ALBUMS, A PATTERN FANS GOT USED TO.

“Every time we’ve done an album, we’ve always stepped out a little bit, Rihanna said in a 2016Vogue interview. “But this time, again, we spent so much time in between albums that I needed the music to match my growth. I didn’t want to get caught up with anything the world liked, anything the radio liked, anything that I liked, that I’ve already heard. I just wanted it to be me.” From start to finish, ANTI uncovered a new side of Rihanna on each song. She fused contemporary R&B with traditional soulful R&B, Hip-Hop, and dancehall, shying away from the pop and dance tracks made for radio that the singer was known for. Experimenting with a new sound and blending genres, she shifted the focus from what was expected to making her own demands.


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