Rihanna is flying high today with news that her new album “Unapologetic” debuted at number one on Billboard’s 200 albums chart, with 238,000 units sold according to Nielsen SoundScan. This marks Rihanna’s first chart-topper, and gives the pop singer some much needed good press on the heels of her recent disastrous mini-tour. But as she soars to the top of the charts, it’s giving critics the chance to revisit old wounds and reflect on Rihanna’s long-term potential in the music biz. Not unsurprisingly, Chris Brown’s name continues to surface as one big road block in her continued success.
Rihanna immediately took to Twitter upon getting the good news of her hard earned achievement writing, “I’m legit crying like a p-ssy right now!!”. While she certainly has plenty to celebrate, the feat comes at an interesting juncture in her career, according to Zimbio.
The “Diamonds” singer recently suffered some of her worst press to date, and she’s had her share over the years, having her “777” promo tour for the new album backfire badly on her. Music writer Melinda Newman, a member of the press who traveled with Rihanna on the ill-fated trip that saw her do seven concerts in seven countries over seven days, reflected on the event via Hitflix today.
Newman says Rihanna, “has that indefinable quality that makes her a star”, adding, “there is something compelling about her that draws people into her orbit”. She took note of how good Rihanna is with her fans too, often taking time out to stop and say hi, take a photo and chat.
But she also described how habitually late the singer is, saying Rihanna is, “constitutionally incapable of going on stage, or seeming anywhere, on time”. Many entertainers share this quality to some extent or another, but Rihanna’s level of disregard for others is so bad that it could eventually start to damage her career.
Newman really gutted the Barbadian songstress on her inaccessibility though. Rihanna only gave the media two short interviews at the start and end of the tour. She later offered up an excuse cum apology by claiming she needed to sleep between venues. But that doesn’t explain why she was out partying until the wee hours of the morning.
Rihanna said she couldn’t “party” with the journalists, but that’s not what they wanted, they wanted access to the singer and some quotes to use for their stories. Perhaps that’s why some wrote during the tour that the story had become about them – there was nothing else to write about.
This could have been accomplished with a five-minute press conference each day. Newman said, “She can blame her lack of time spent with the press on whatever she wants, but it was a bit like inviting guests over for dinner and then other than saying hi, ignoring them the rest of the evening. She may be ‘Unapologetic’, but much of the press is still waiting for an apology”.
Others are equally critical of Rihanna’s choices. While Rihanna’s hard-partying ways and “Unapologetic” antics might get her a lot of attention, it could also cause her to lose it all. One example given is how after she allowed photographers to take pics of her allegedly rolling a joint, skincare company Nivea dropped her from their ad campaign.
CEO Stefan Heidenreich said at that time, “I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna. Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family, and reliability”.
Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com, thinks that in the long run Rihanna’s bad girl ways won’t hurt her career since it only makes girls want to be her, and guys want to be with her. Chris Brown is a whole different can of worms however.
Bragman is disgusted by Rihanna’s reconciliation with Chris Brown, a sentiment not uncommon among fans and celebrities alike. He says, “She empowers him and I hate it, I hate it for her, I hate it for the message it’s sending”.
What makes it harder still is that Brown only makes it worse with his insensitive behavior, brash comments and general aloofness. Instead of attempting to ingratiate himself back into the public arena post-assault, he continues to taunt and act out in vulgar ways.
Case in point, his recent Twitter spat with comedian Jenny Johnson. Though agreeably she enticed him into the fight, his reaction in which he wrote some disgusting and childish things only rekindles the fires that his anger management classes didn’t take.
Rihanna is clearly on the path to superstardom, if not already there. But if she relies too much on her rebellious image to sustain her relevance in an increasingly fast-paced social media driven music scene, she may find herself replaced by the next bad girl flavor of the month.