About The Artist
The Set List
Good Girl Gone Diverse
If you feel like you've been soaked by radio's constant airplay of 'Umbrella,' it's important to realize that Rihanna is more than just a one-hit wonder. Teaming up with a talented group of musicians for her latest record, 'Good Girl Gone Bad,' Rihanna is a rare artist who recognizes the collaborative effort of making great music. She explains: "It was inspired by so many different genres of music and all kind of different topics. If you look at the track listing and you see the titles, it makes you want to hear all the songs because the titles are weird: 'Umbrella,' 'Shut Up & Drive,' 'Breaking Dishes,' 'Rehab.' When I was making this album it was very important that it was edgy and different. I didn't want it to sound like anything else I'd ever done. I wanted every song to be a potential single. I wanted 12 hit records."
From Barbados to Billboard
"I got my start in music after I started singing at school, and one of my really good friends knew a producer from New York. She introduced me to him, I auditioned for him, and we finally put a demo together and finished it. We sent it out to a few labels, we auditioned for Def Jam and we pretty much signed the deal right away. That's how I got started!"
On the Original Material Girl
Rihanna's music draws as much from old Motown influences as it does the industry's hottest producers and performers. We spoke to the music lover and discovered a surprising influence: The Material Girl. Explains Rihanna: "I was influenced a lot by Mariah Carey... and now I'm influenced a lot more by Madonna. I look up to Madonna so much. I research her background! Growing up in Barbados, we didn't get exposed to Madonna a lot. A lot of people don't know Madonna, they don't know her music. After I moved to the States, I started finding out more about her. I adore her. She's one of my biggest influences."
As the year draws to a close, 2007 may go down as the year of Rihanna. With a slew of stunning live performances, a smorgasbord of singles from 'Good Girl Gone Bad,' and an acting career just around the corner, it looks like the beauty from Barbados is here to stay. After watching the triple-threat performer in person, we're self-confessed Rihanna groupies. Now it's your turn: Go check out the show and pick up a copy of Rihanna's 'Good Girl Gone Bad' today!
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
- Her real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. She was born on February 20, 1988 in Barbados. Rihanna now resides in New York, Los Angeles and San Diego.
- She's a former beauty queen. Rihanna was discovered by music producer Evan Rogers at the age of 15 and invited to New York City to record some demo tracks. Impressed by her raw talent, Jay-Z signed Rihanna to Def Jam Records - and the rest is history.
- She's a singer and an actress. Rihanna stars in the upcoming 'Bring It On' franchise feature: 'Bring It On: All or Nothing.'
- Despite her short time in the music business, she's picked up plenty of awards. Rihanna won Female Artist of the Year at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, and 'Umbrella' won Video of the Year at this year's MTV Video Music Awards.
- She's an astute businesswoman. Named by Gillette as cover girl for 2007 Venus Breeze 'Celebrity Legs of a Goddess,' Rihanna recently had her legs insured for $1,000,000. She was also featured in People magazine's annual '100 Most Beautiful' edition.
- She made her first million before turning 20. Rihanna was recently listed in an international magazine as one of the richest teens in Hollywood.
Rihanna kicks off her high-spirited set with a rocking rendition of 'Shut Up & Drive,' the second single from 'Good Girl Gone Bad.' Written by Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, 'Shut Up & Drive' also contains an unmistakable sampling of the New Order classic, 'Blue Monday.' Channeling a sound caught midway between Shania Twain and Beyoncé, Rihanna sings about love in the fast lane: "Got a ride that's smoother than a limousine. Can you handle the curves? Can you run all the lights?"
Umbrellas are swirling on stage and Rihanna's ready to go. Starting with an infectious sample from Donna Summer's '70s hit, 'Love to Love You Baby,' Rihanna launches into her signature tune 'Umbrella.' Though it's barely a year old, 'Umbrella' has already been covered by a slew of artists, including Tegan & Sara, Starsailor and The Dresden Dolls. A tune about never-ending love, Rihanna sings: "These fancy things will never come in between/ You're part of my entity/ Here for infinity."
Hate That I Love You
This slow-moving R&B groove from Rihanna's 'Good Girl Gone Bad' showcases the singer's vocals and penchant for interpreting a tune. Produced by StarGate (who gave us Beyoncé's hit 'Irreplaceable'), 'Hate That I Love You' proves that Rihanna unplugged is an equally exciting experience. The album version of 'Hate That I Love You' includes a pairing with Ne-Yo, though at today's Soundcheck set, Rihanna delivers a stunning, stripped-down solo take.
"I feel it in the air as I'm doing my hair/ Preparing for another date/ A kiss upon my cheek as he reluctantly asks... if I'm gonna be out late." 'Unfaithful,' the second single from Rihanna's second album, 'A Girl Like Me,' is a provocative tune that discusses a difficult situation: infidelity. Rihanna belts out the tune with emotional vocals and a heartfelt presence that conveys the complexity of the song's lyrics: "Where I'm about to go... and we know it very well."
Not wanting to leave us hanging on a somber note, Rihanna leaves the best for last. 'Let Me' is an upbeat affair that the singer delivers with her trademark charisma. An oldie but a goodie, 'Let Me' is a dance-friendly groove from Rihanna's 2005 debut, 'Music of the Sun.' Sings Rihanna: "I'm the girl in the seven inch heel. I got my keys in my hand... Baby let's go dance away."