It seems ages ago when a young, ambitious 17-year old by the name of Robyn Rihanna Fenty introduced herself onto the music scene with her debut single Pon de Replay. Since releasing her debut single in 2005, Rihanna has never looked back as her career has gone from strength from strength evolving into a female pop icon. She has become one of the best selling artists of all time, with over 25 million albums and 60 million digital singles sold worldwide. She has become the most liked celebrity on Facebook with over 62 million likes. She has also been named as one of the most influential people in the world in 2012 according to Time magazine. In anticipation of her seventh album Unapologetic due on the 19th November, the Songmaker team have decided to revisit her previous work depicting her evolution from a fresh-faced, innocent 17-year old into the controversial & sexy pop icon we all know and love!
Music of the Sun
Released: August 29, 2005
Chart peak: UK: No. 35, US: No.10
Singles: Pon De Replay, If It’s Lovin that you want, You Don’t Love Me (No No No)
Rihanna’s debut album can be considered her most mellow offering though its infectious, carribean charm still shines bright like a diamond (pun intended!) 7 years on. The lead single ‘Pon de Replay’ remains a hypnotical, body pumping dance anthem with it’s infectious clap beats which debuted at no.2 on the USA billboard and UK singles chart.The follow up single ‘ If It’s loving that you want’ failed to match success of it’s predecessor receiving only moderate success on the charts, peaking at No.36 and No.11 on the U.S chart and U.K chart respectively. However, the track remains a catchy, tropical dancehall song with it’s island-flecked guitar riffs. Other tracks such such as You Don’t Love Me (No No No)offers a slice of cool reggage-inspired music. That La, La, La’ and ‘Rush’ also allowed Rihanna to showcase her potential as pop’s newest talent over dutty wine rhythms.
A Girl Like Me
Released: April 24, 2006
Singles: ‘SOS’, ‘Unfaithful’, ‘We ride it’, ‘Break it off’
Chart peak: UK: No.5, U.S: No.5
After a mere 8 months since the release of her sophomore album, Riri released her second album entitled ‘A girl like me’. For this album, Rihanna employed a more elite team of producers such as JR Rotem who produced Rihanna’s first U.S no.1 single: SOS. SOS’S electro dance-pop inspired sound and unique sampling of ‘Tainted love’ brought a fresh and dynamic sound to the charts. The album also featured the powerful,melodramatic ballad Unfaithful which remains one of Rihanna’s signature songs on her tours to this day. Tracks such as ‘Crazy Little Thing called love’ and ‘Selfish Girl’ maintains the same Bajan flavour of her debut album , but the material on A Girl Like me contained more stronger material and pointed to a much brighter future for the Bajan beauty.
Evolution into a Popstar
Good Girl Gone Bad
Released: June 4,2007
Singles: ‘Umbrella’, ‘Shut Up and Drive’, ‘Hate that I love you’,’Don’t stop the music’
Chart peak: U.K:No.1, U.S: No.2
Riri’s third album: Good Girl Gone Bad was the springboard for Rihanna’s ascent into pop stardom. The lead single off the track ‘Umbrella’ proved to be a mega hit, topping the charts in 8 countries worldwide and becoming one of the best single singles of all time with over 6.6 million copies sold worldwide. The huge success of Umbrella propelled Rihanna into fully-fledged popstardom announcing herself on the world music stage. Her follow-up single ‘Shut Up and Drive’ brought out the inner rock chick in Rihanna accompanied by sassy quips and car-skidding effects. The third single off the album’Don’t Stop the music’ was a commerical and critical success becoming a instant dancefloor classic cleverly incorporating the hook “Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa” from the Michael Jackson classic ‘Wanna be startin’ somethin’. Girl Gone Bad also offered more slow, silky ballads such as ‘Hate that I love you’ penned by Ne-Yo and StarGate and ‘Breakin Dishes’ which was a strutting ode to female empowerment showing that you wont find Rihanna slaving over the kitchen sink!
Thats all we have time for now but don’t worry folks, check out our next blog entry over the weekend for Part.2 of Rihanna’s road. In Part 2, we be charting Rihanna’s evolution from a popstar into the controversial, sexy pop icon we all know her for today.