Even since repeatedly pestering that poor DJ to turn the record up in 2005, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has been a chart-topping powerhouse representative of Def Jam Records. With her collaborations dominating the charts as of late, it seems that the recipe to Billboard success is a Rihanna hook. After all, she has the most digital number-one hits with eleven and counting.
That’s more number-one’s than Stevie Wonder or Janet Jackson. That’s two away from Michael Jackson and nine away from the untouchable Beatles. Are we talking quantity, not quality? It’s up for debate. How does she compare to the Gaga’s, Perry’s and Beyonce’s?
Turn on the radio. Open a music magazine. And if they’re on a break from their teen-preganancy programming, watch MTV. From Maroon 5 to Eminem to Coldplay to Lonely Island, there is that familiar sultry croon of the official ambassador of youth and culture for Barbados. She is considerably the most-featured female singer of this millennium. She’s no Fitzgerald, or Goulding for that matter, but it’s either she has a remarkable talent or impeccable timing. OK, maybe Jay-Z has a little something to do with it.
Going back to 2008, she was featured on two of the biggest songs of the year: Maroon5′s “If I Ever See Your Face Again” and T.I.’s redemption-song “Live Your Life.” Two opposing ends of the musical spectrum that equally delivered as hits in their respective genres.
Recently, her collaborations haven’t slowed down, they’ve been unescapable on the pop-charts. She duels with Nicki Minaj, harmonizes on Kanye’s “All of the Lights”and even trades verses with Chris Martin in Coldplay’s “Princess of China” In response to his appearance on “What’s My Name?”, Rihanna flourishes in the role of a wounded-love on the title track of Drake’s upcoming Take Care EP.
Her solo success should not be ignored. In Billboard’s 53-year-history, Rihanna is in a third-place tie with the legendary Whitney Houston for most chart-toppers, behind Mariah Carey and Madonna. That’s a fine line between jaw-dropping and head-scratching. She was also named Digital Song Artist of the Decade in 2009, passing Mr. West, Beyonce and Taylor Swift.
In a recent study, the most popular videos on YouTube are unsurprisingly, music videos that occupy an incredible 86% of the top 60 most-viewed. What’s even more mind-boggling is that a trifecta of pop-artists total a 25% of those 60 videos: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Bieber impregnates the rest of the pack with 1.664 billion views. Mother Monster rolls in with 842 million views and Rihanna clocks in with 715 million views.
With her new album Talk That Talk on the horizon (due out November 21), critical pop-singles are expected to stampede the airwaves. She took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm that her mentor would appear on the title track: “Yes sir! Jigga man is on the title track #TTT.” What a clubhouse that must be, with Kanye and Jay meeting their female counterparts of Beyonce and Rihanna for an afternoon picnic.
She’s definitely beating Chris Brown’s success to death.