On February 12, Rihanna delivered a Halftime performance for the ages, boldly reminding the world of just how many chart-topping hits she’s released since her arrival on the music scene almost two decades ago. Featuring a setlist that included “Wild Thoughts,” “All of the Lights,” “Umbrella,” “Diamonds,” and many more, the performance left the world wondering: Will Rihanna ever drop another album?
Her heightened activity in recents months gave audiences hope that something big was coming – and we were right. In addition to Sunday’s amazing show, the Barbadian singer also announced her current pregnancy in a way that only she could. With another child on the way, a world tour is definitely out of the question, and it also increases the uncertainty of a new project. Although she hasn’t released a full-length album since 2016’s Anti, she has done more than enough in the music that we have been fortunate enough to consume throughout her career.
While it remains unclear when or if we’ll ever get a new Rihanna album, there’s plenty of music out there from the Grammy Award-winning entertainer to hold us over. From her debut release to present day, she has grown as both an artist and a woman. In a 10-year span, she has amassed countless awards and accolades, along with a devoted following that would make any musician envious. As her journey through womanhood continues, many of those same people still have the hope that she’ll give the world another amazing body of work.
Since 2005, Rihanna has released 8 full-length projects. From Music of the Sun to Anti, let’s take a look at her entire album list, from top to bottom.
After almost 4 years since her previous release, Rihanna dropped 2016’s Anti. Conceived when Rihanna was experiencing creative struggles and emotional turmoil, Anti features lyrics that spoke to the emotions that come from love and relationships, from endearment and desire to betrayal and liberation, with references to sex, drugs and alcohol. Anti is definitely her most liberating album, and it is significant because it symbolized Rihanna’s artistic maturity, but it is also her last album to date.
The album was recorded between February and August 2010, during the singer’s Last Girl on Earth tour and the filming of her first feature film Battleship. Loud featured up-tempo songs, and marked the return of the bright, optimistic sound prominent on her first two albums. It also uses rock in “California King Bed” and reggae in the Caribbean-inspired “Man Down”. The album produced the songs “Only Girl (In the World)”, “What’s My Name?”, and “S&M;” all three of which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. “S&M” was Rihanna’s tenth number one song in the US, making Rihanna the youngest recording artist to accumulate the plateau.
Rihanna’s third release Good Girl Gone Bad was known as a turning point in her career, it represents a departure from the Caribbean sound of her previous releases. Apart from the sound, she also endorsed a new image for the release going from an innocent young woman to an edgier, more mature look. Good Girl Gone Bad includes her smash lead single “Umbrella,” which spawned the singer’s first Grammy Award.
Following in the same vein as Loud, Talk That Talk is a dance-oriented pop/R&B crossover album that incorporates elements of hip hop, dubstep, electronic and house music. The album produced six singles, including the international hit “We Found Love” which became Rihanna’s eleventh number-one song on the US Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in twenty six additional countries.
Unapologetic debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 238,000 copies, becoming Rihanna’s first number one album on the chart and best-selling debut week of her career. The album produced six singles including the hits “Diamonds” and “Stay”. The former peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it became Rihanna’s twelfth number one song, tying her with Madonna and the Supremes for fourth most number one songs in the history of the chart.
In early 2009, Rihanna began working on her fourth studio album, Rated R, which was released in November of the same year. This album features a darker tone than Rihanna’s previous albums, and contains primarily a pop, hip hop, and R&B influence, it also incorporates musical elements of rock music. Rated R debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, and included “Rude Boy”, which topped the Hot 100 for six weeks.
On August 29, 2005 Rihanna released her debut album Music of the Sun. The 13-track project featured the singles It produced two singles – “Pon de Replay” and “If It’s Lovin’ that You Want” – the former of which peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the US Dance Club Songs. Music of the Sun was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and although the reception was modest from critics, it laid the foundation for Rihanna’s subsequent superstardom.
For her second studio release, we saw the Barbadian singer truly reach her stride, achieving her first #1 single with “SOS.” Two of the album’s other singles – “Unfaithful” and “Break It Off”, both hit the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, which bolstered Rihanna’s case as one of the best and brightest entertainers in the world.