Saturday, 12 March 2016

Why I love... Rihanna

There are many ingredients that go into the recipe that cooks up a great pop star. It’s all alchemy, of course, but the one thing you can’t ever fake is that elusive X factor. 

I want to look at a pop star and be excited – and no pop star on Earth serves up excitement quite like Rihanna.

Born and raised in Barbados, before a record deal brought her to America, she had an iconic haircut, released the song of 2007 (“ella-eh-eh-eh”), survived domestic violence and released ever more glorious pop music.

What sets Rihanna apart is the feeling that she could burn everything to the ground if she had the notion to. In a world of carefully packaged music stars, that unpredictability is thrilling. It means we can overlook less than flawless vocals and focus on what she’s good (no, great) at: being fabulous. It helps that Rihanna is stunning; she’s like a cat you desperately need to like you, and she moves like one, too. Her nails are always long and manicured, her top lip on the verge of curling into a pretty-girl sneer or smile.
Why I love... Rihanna
Then there are the tattoos. My favourite is the under-breast one of the goddess Isis, because it’s beautiful, and its placement is just so Rihanna: maximum, in-your-face impact. She’s the embodiment of fun – the cool older girl you gawped at in the loos at school, and wanted to be.

I haven’t stopped playing her new album (God, Work is sublime) and am struck by how much she sounds like a woman on a mission to define herself. And while we might not know exactly who she is just yet, isn’t it wonderful that someone this dazzling exists in the pop landscape right now?

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