Rihanna Is Back And Louder Than Ever

Dave Iannacone

There’s really no question that Barbadian singer Rihanna is (and has been) one of the biggest pop stars in not only the country, but the world. Although I knew that she was extremely successful, with a handful of number one singles under her belt, I recently had a huge realization of just how big she is. Having only been around for five years, Rihanna just notched her unbelievable ninth number one single with “Only Girl (In The World).” This was actually an historical moment in music history, as it was the first time an album’s first single hit the top spot after the second single did (“What’s My Name” featuring Drake hit #1 two weeks ago). That in itself is impressive, but being her ninth is quite an accomplishment in itself!

To put this in perspective, Rihanna is in a four-way tie for eighth place for most number one singles ever. Tied with Usher, Elton John, and the Bee Gees, she is close to taking over the likes of Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney Houston, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that she will beat out Madonna and Michael Jackson! The truly amazing thing is that all of the artists mentioned above took over a decade to rack up all of their number ones; Rihanna is only half a decade into her career. Obviously no one can predict the future, but I would be very shocked if she doesn’t notch at least a couple more.

The irony is that, although she has nothing to complain about in the sales department, Rihanna has never been a huge album seller comparatively. In fact, she’s never had a number one album (her latest, Loud, peaked at number three.) This is really the most amazing example anyone will probably ever find about how digital downloads are completely changing up the whole music industry. Rihanna is a singles-based artist. Sure she sells plenty of albums to make any artist happy, but she’s got a huge fan-base who will buy anything she does. The majority of the public, however, only cares about the songs they hear on the radio. Now this is nothing new, but what is “new” is the fact that they can go on iTunes and buy just that song, instead of going to the store and buying the entire album. With Rihanna’s incredible ability to put out catchy pop tunes appealing to fans of dance, R&B, hip-hop, etc., as well as the fact that she’s a well-known name, it’s really a no-brainer as to why she’s breaking records like she is. In the end, as long as Rihanna is popular, her songs are going to be skyrocketing up the charts.