It’s been awhile since I visited rihannanow.com, Rihanna’s official website. Yes, singers actually still own their own websites, although all of it is handled by their teams.
I was reading the site’s bio page (text annoyingly written in lowercase with no italics when mentioning album titles) when I noticed a few factual errors or plain ridiculous sentences.
The bio, which was probably written shortly after the release of Anti in 2016, starts going wrong when it touches on Rihanna’s Beyoncé-fied first two albums, Music of the Sun and A Girl Like Me.
It stupidly repeats a sentence: “def jam released rihanna’s dynamic debut album, music of the sun, which garnered much attention due to the popularity of her highly addictive dancehall-flavored first single. its popularity was propelled by the highly addictive dancehall-flavour lead single, “pon de replay.””
The writer really wanted us to know the album started with a highly addictive dance-flavored single.
On a more pedantic note, the writer also considers “Unfaithful” as a number-one single, although the single didn’t actually top the charts in the US and UK. It did go #1 in Canada, Hungary and Switzerland, so that claim is true, but “Pon De Replay” was also a #1 hit in New Zealand, yet that wasn’t counted on this bio.
The writer dedicates more than an entire paragraph to Rihanna’s first worldwide hit, the unforgettable “Umbrella”, although it didn’t document the single’s success accurately.
“the track became the undisputed no. 1 pop song of the summer”, the writer stated on the page, except “Umbrella” wasn’t just the number-one pop song of summer 2007. It was the biggest song that summer across all genres.
I also don’t know how the writer obtained the perfect “52 weeks in a row” factoid. “Umbrella” spent 24 weeks on Pop Songs (“pop”), 22 on Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs (“urban”) and 33 weeks on the Hot 100 (“crossover.”) None reached 52 individually; add them up and they exceed that total.
The bio then claims that “Umbrella” topped the UK Singles Chart for 11 consecutive weeks… although the song actually only stayed at #1 for 10.
The writer proceeds to talk about “Russian Roulette”, the lukewarm lead single from 2009’s Rated R, which also produced a #1 radio smash with “Rude Boy” that the bio ignored.
Instead, “Russian Roulette” was described as having “notched chart history” by being the Barbadian singer’s “12th hit billboard hot 100 hit.” By 2009, heaps of artists had already sent well over 12 hits to the Hot 100! What kind of chart history is that?! And anyway, “Russian Roulette” was not Rihanna’s 12th hit on the Hot 100, it was her 13th as a lead artist and 16th overall (featured appearances included.)
What the writer had meant to say was that “Russian Roulette” was Rihanna’s 12th Top 10 hit on the Hot 100. Evidently this person couldn’t infer that the Hot 100 has a hundred positions and specifying “Top 10” makes a world of difference.
The writer goes on to say that the single made Rihanna second among female Hot 100 artists in the 21st century. That’s quite a desperate chart feat to include, considering she wasn’t even first among females at the time.
Whoever Rihanna hired clearly isn’t a sharp writer who knows what he or she is talking about. “We Found Love”, the singer’s career hit, outperformed “Umbrella” but gets a confusing half-paragraph.
The writer said the single “garnered her second mtv video music award for video of the year and her sixth grammy award for best short form music video”. That implies that “We Found Love” won Rihanna her second Video of the Year at the VMAs (true), and her sixth Best Short Form Music Video at the Grammys (false).
Rihanna did win her sixth Grammy, “We Found Love” having won in that category, but her previous five Grammys were for different awards. If used in the context of overall wins regardless of category, then Rihanna should have garnered her fourth VMA, not second. This writer’s sentence structure couldn’t be more misleading.
A world tour is essentially a concert tour that takes the artist to multiple continents around the globe: touch at least three continents and it more than suffices.
All of Rihanna’s tours since 2007 qualify as world tours, having reached several destinations (including South America and Africa occasionally). But while the writers claim that “her world tours… have taken the icon to more than 100 countries each time”, none of Rihanna’s tours ever played 100 shows, let alone reach 100 countries.
Her longest tours are the Loud Tour and Diamonds World Tour, which played nearly 100 shows in their run. But even if we indulge the legitimacy of this factoid (let’s assume the tours did play 100 shows), tours always play multiple shows in the same country. The US alone is one country where artists play dozens of shows.
So I personally counted: her most extensive, the Diamonds World Tour played nearly 100 shows… across 32 countries only. How did the writer imagine Rihanna covering 100 countries each time? I’m not dedicated enough to count her other tours but I doubt Rihanna even visited 100 of them in total.
But the most ridiculous thing on this official bio must be the paragraph about Rihanna’s latest studio album, Anti.
“Rihanna made chart history with her brand new album anti, released january 28, 2016, as she achieves her second consecutive #1 album with 166,000 first week sales.”
How on earth is scoring a second consecutive number-one album (an unbelievably common feat), which Rihanna only achieved more than entire decade after her 2005 debut, a chart history by any stretch of the imagination?! And the album moved only 166,000 units in its first week, an ordinary amount that wasn’t even Rihanna’s best opening sales number!
I’d really like to know which quack was hired to pen this official bio, because that person deserves an award for atrocious writing.
The page is accessible via rihannanow.com/bio, unless you’re reading this article long after it’s been removed (such websites are revamped every time a singer launches a new album.)