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Rihanna's timeless hits, ranking her unforgettable music eras
2023/06/20

Rihanna released her first single, Pon de Replay in May 2005, which peaked at number 2 on the charts according to Billboard. Do you think any fan, relative, or loved one predicted her career would end up with her as a billionaire and the first woman to perform at the Super Bowl pregnant? That doesn't even sound like the wildest dream a human can think about if you let them. Her personality is one piece of the formula, but the secret sauce to her success has to be her chart-topping music, a delicacy she has stopped giving us as much.

In 2022, Rih released her first solo track in years, with Lift Me Up, a song featured on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. The song not only garnered critical acclaim but also earned her an unexpected Oscar nomination, a significant milestone in her career.  Not long after that joy was her triumphant comeback to the stage. The Grammy-winning artist took the crowd by storm as the headliner for the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show, marking her highly anticipated return. With the Navy, her dedicated fanbase, craving for more, Rihanna's musical journey continues to captivate and leave a lasting impact.

Amidst our jubilation, let us reflect on the remarkable transformation of Rihanna's musical style. From infectious hits like Umbrella, Stay, Unfaithful, and We Found Love, her discography boasts a collection of unforgettable anthems. With each album era, from the iconic "Good Girl Gone Bad" to the boundary-pushing "Anti," Rihanna has continuously pushed the boundaries of creativity, captivating audiences worldwide. As we commemorate her artistic brilliance, let us delve into the rich tapestry of her musical journey, celebrating the evolution of a true musical icon. Lastly, since nothing is impossible, ranking Badgalriri's albums is the closest thing to impossible. Please don't come for us, Navy.

8. Music of the Sun

Embarking on her musical odyssey at the age of 17, Rihanna burst onto the scene with her vibrant debut album, Music Of The Sun. This exhilarating collection showcased her undeniable talent and marked the inception of a promising career. While exploring various musical avenues, she left an indelible mark with the infectious groove of Pon de Replay, a standout track that resonated with listeners. With Music Of The Sun, Rihanna set the stage for what would become an extraordinary journey, laying the foundation for her future sonic explorations.

7. A Girl Like Me

Rihanna's sophomore album, A Girl Like Me, solidified her as the artist we know today. The hit song SOS topped the charts, showcasing her youthful yet captivating style. The album featured infectious tracks that had fans swaying and humming, along with poignant ballads like A Million Miles Away and Unfaithful. With this release, Rihanna's identity began to take shape, combining growth and maturation while retaining her signature charm. A Girl Like Me marked a significant step in her artistic journey, leaving a lasting impact on the music scene.

6. Rated R

Rihanna's Rated R era marked a transition from her good girl image to a more explicit and club-focused sound. The album was filled with tracks that demanded attention on the dancefloor, showcasing RiRi's ability to create hard-hitting hits like the infectious "Rude Boy" and the captivating "Te Amo." This era also witnessed Rihanna embracing androgyny, as she sported short hair, dark eyeliner, and a rebellious rockstar aesthetic. Rated R allowed Rihanna to push boundaries and explore a new level of artistic expression, solidifying her status as a versatile and fearless musician.

5. Good Girl Gone Bad

Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad era was a defining moment, showcasing hit songs like "Umbrella," "Shut Up And Drive," "Don't Stop The Music," and "Disturbia." It marked her transformation into a sultry, confident artist, leaving a lasting impact on her career.

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4. Unapologetic

Putting this album in the fourth spot was tough. Unapologetic, though criticized by reviewers, showcased Rihanna's exceptional talent with standout tracks like "Stay" and "Diamonds." These songs unveiled a more vulnerable side of the singer, resonating deeply with listeners. Despite the mixed reception, Unapologetic triumphed by winning the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album, solidifying Rihanna's ability to connect with audiences.

3. Loud

Loud undeniably delivered some of Rihanna's most iconic hits like What's My Name, S&M, "Man Down," and "California King Bed." The Grammy-winning anthem "Only Girl In The World" showcased her versatility in the Best Dance Recording category. With her vibrant red hair and bold red lip, Rihanna made a lasting impression. Less rebellious yet equally seductive, Loud solidified her status as a star, leaving no doubts about her immense talent.

2. Talk That Talk

Rihanna continued her success streak with her sixth album, delivering infectious pop dance tracks. The Grammy-winning hit We Found Love earned her another accolade, this time for Best Short Form Music Video. Embodying her rebellious persona, the "bad gal RiRi" exuded confidence with cigarette smoke swirling, voluminous hair, and daring fashion choices. Rihanna's signature style and captivating music solidified her position as a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

1. Anti

After a critically panned Unapologetic, the queen reclaimed her throne with the masterpiece that is Anti. The album garnered widespread acclaim, receiving praise from both critics and devoted fans. Each track on Anti deserves recognition, but standout gems like "Love On The Brain," "Needed Me," "Work," "Desperado," and "Consideration" shine brightly. Taking a four-year hiatus to craft Anti proved to be a wise decision, as it stands as one of Rihanna's most cohesive and heartfelt bodies of work. The album showcases her growth as an artist, resonating with listeners on a deeper level than ever before.

Hopefully, the Navy can respect this ranking as we wait on a new era, whenever that may be.

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