Rihanna is one of the most famous singers in the world and she is a legendary pop-star. At the age of 28, we can say that she already changed the face of music with their songs. She continues to work hard and her new album, Anti has been in the top ten on Billboard 200 for 33 weeks in a row. Moreover, some of her older songs are still massively popular, but what are the stories behind these biggest hits of hers?
Let’s start this list with the song “Umbrella”. At the beginning some other star supposed to record this song – Britney Spears. However, she never even heard the track, so before the track made its way into Rihanna’s hands it was purchased by numerous artists, including Taio Cruz.
Karen Kwak, an A&R executive also had the track at the time, but so did Mary J. Bilge, whose songwriters were ready to record it. Meanwhile, Kwak believed that Rihanna was the perfect for the song. She was persistent enough to secure the song for Rihanna. After RiRi heard it for the first time she said:”I listened to it over and over. I need this record. I want to record it tomorrow.”
We all know how popular this song was and still is. At several occasions, Rihanna even needed to convince her fans not to bring umbrellas to concerts.
It was released as a single from her album Rated R. Considering songs “SOS and “Disturbia”, “Russian Roulette” was a sidestep for Rihanna. She wrote that song together with Ne-Yo and the producer Chuck Harmony said that they wanted something different from a dance track:” We wanted to give her a movie. We didn’t want to just give her a three-minute song.”
He also added:”’Russian Roulette’ is the kind of song that when you hear it you’re gonna talk about it — whether you like it, you talk about it. It’s so unexpected, from the tempo to the title to the feel.”
Ne-Yo said what Rihanna expected from the song:”She wanted to be dark, but not just dark for the sake of being dark. Dark with kind of a meaning, dark with some kind of thing to it.”
For the Q magazine Rhianna said:”You want to be open and honest but you don’t want to end up broken-hearted. Ne-Yo sat down with me and we talked for a long time about all the stuff I’ve been through this year and he came up with the idea of ‘Russian Roulette’, which fitted perfectly.”
“What’s My Name”
Party Rihanna was back when he performed this song on The X Factor. Her album Loud resembled her first album the most. L.A.Reid told Billboard back then:”’Pon De Replay,’ that was obviously Rihanna at her purest, with that Caribbean-flavored dance-pop music. After that, she went in many different directions only to find herself right back where she really started. Though I think the songs are much better now. Her growth as a vocalist is really evident.”
Esther Dean, the co-writer of “What’s My Name” recalled:”She doesn’t try to sound like you; she sounds like herself.”
In order to record the best song possible, there were writing camps with around 100 people. The singer said:” We gave them guidelines and a bunch of topics. We’d have 10 writers in one room and five writers in another room and put them with one producer, then split the group up and put them with another producer.”
Initially, Drake shouldn’t have appeared on the track but Rihanna said:”He’s the only person I thought could really understand the melody of the song. The minute he heard it he said, ‘I know exactly what I’m going to do. I love it.’ And he did it like three days later.”
“We found love”
This song is the lead single from her sixth album, Talk That Talk. He joined forces with an EDM star Calvin Harris to make this outstanding song. It looks like the making of the song wasn’t that easy. Leona Lewis told The Daily Star:”I worked with Calvin and we recorded ‘We Found Love’. But he went touring with Rihanna and she ended up releasing it. I didn’t commit to it because I wanted ‘Trouble’ to be my first single so I think that was another reason they went with Rihanna. It was the same version and production but mine’s better.”
Nicole Scherzinger was the first person this track was offered to. She said:”I’ve got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time. They’d sent me a few dance tracks and I wasn’t able to get to them and I was like, ‘Oh there’s so much dance and I want to take a break from it’.”
The song eventually ended with Rihanna and she proved once again how extraordinary she was.
With “Diamonds” as a single, she made something different.
As the producer, Benny Blanco recalls:”We made the record first then made the beat. We didn’t really think of it and then, Stargate was in with Sia and she wrote a song to it and then they were like, ‘We got this dope song.'”
Stargate wanted Rihanna to be the singer so badly. Blanco added:”She was recording in a separate part of the world, sending back the files, we’re finishing the music and then we’re mixing and mastering it, and then it was out in a few days”
Supposedly Sia wrote the song in 22 minutes, at the end of the session, and here is what she had to say:”Here’s what happens. I just do the melody. It’s so rare that lyrics fall out while I’m just doing the melody… After I’ve done the melody I shape the words to the melody. The thing that’s special about [‘Diamonds’] is that the words that just fell out.”
“Love On The Brain”
This song, at the same time, is like something Rihanna would do and it isn’t. Co-writer, Fred Ball told Genius:” We wanted the song to be old school, a mix between Price and Al Green. It has a timeless and soulful feel to it.”
He wanted to combine retro with modern:”We didn’t write the song with Rihanna in mind, but Jay Brown, my manager at Roc Nation, heard it and absolutely loved it. He sent it to Rihanna and she reacted similarly. I think her vocal delivery is absolutely amazing. It’s unusual that the verses are in falsetto and that the chorus is in full voice. It’s usually the other way around.”
Rihanna did it again. We have another timeless hit.