By: Amanda Anderson-Niles
Rihanna’s personal life may continue to garner the interest of the media as many continue to speculate whether she is or isn’t back with Chris Brown and whether she is indeed sharing him with his ex girlfriend Karrueche Tran, but Rihanna’s career is even more headline worthy as the singer continues to receive accolades many thought she wouldn’t achieve. And the naysayers obviously didn’t see the pop star appeal of the singer a few years ago, when she was introduced to the world as just another pop-tart. That she is not. Rihanna’s albums continue to get darker and edgier as she flirts with a naughty image that has made many call her anything but a role model. Regardless of the criticism regarding her behavior outside of the studio and her controversial relationship with Chris Brown, she continues to churn out hit after hit. Rihanna has more number one singles than most of her industry counterparts, and she’s only been in the business for a few years. But one achievement the singer hasn’t had is a number one album. But according to the latest projections, her current album Unapologetic may fill that void as it’s projected to be the singer’s first number one album.
Rihanna covers the current November issue of Billboard, and inside of the publication, and in an exclusive interview with Barry Weiss, chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam Music Group and Republic Records, Weiss reveals why he thinks Rihanna has achieved this kind of superstar status.
“Rihanna is a global superstar without equal. Her vision and passion for her craft, her unmatched work ethic, her impeccable taste and artistry, her fearlessness and preternatural ability to move the culture, inspire and remind us why we are lucky to be in this business.”
Bartels also reveals that Rihanna’s musical collaborations with Chris Brown as of late were her own decisions. And that despite the criticism, Rihanna believed that this the collaborations are what the fans wanted:
“‘Birthday Cake,’ that was a moment in time. It was a viral, consumer-driven reality. Ultimately Rihanna drives her creative vision. Our job is to take that and support it in the marketplace. She’s been very vocal about where she stands and where she feels.”
And although many criticize Rihanna’s somewhat bad girl and rebellious image, the team over at Roc Nation seems to think it’s one of the biggest reasons Rihanna is so successful. Jay Brown, Co-Founder/President Roc Nation, think her fans are so loyal because Rihanna refuses to subject herself to the norms of society:
“She’s in a phase where she’s going from being cultural to iconic. It’s good for her to do her own thing and not do the norm and stretch a little. She knows that her fans love her being honest about who she is, and that’s why she named the album that way-she’s not going to apologize for who she is.
The Billboard November issue is currently available on stands now.