Top 10 Rihanna Songs
A few short years ago, a brown-skinned girl with an island lilt in her voice debuted a poppy, dancehall-tinged song called 'Pon de Replay.' A Def Jam signee, the young artist named Rihanna showed promise as she hopped around, shimmying on an elevated platform in the track's video. No one could have guessed that this playful, sweet-sounding songstress would later become a global pop princess with a “take it or leave it” attitude. After her smash single 'Umbrella' hit airwaves, Ri Ri was in the door and on her way to the upper echelon of popular music. Since that very first song, the Barbados native has gone through a number of transformations, becoming the juggernaut that we see covering countless magazines and topping international charts today. She's not close to being done yet, so in honor of her ever-growing career, TheDrop.fm highlights the top Rihanna songs since she debuted her very first in 2005.
'S.O.S.' was an easy hit for Rihanna, who was still fairly new to the industry in 2006. The bouncy single sampled Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love' pretty heavily, but she put her own spin on the instrumental. Here, the singer pleads for rescue from falling in love too fast. The uptempo song, produced by J.R. Rotem, immediately shot up the Billboard charts becoming Rihanna's very first No. 1 single on the Hot 100.
‘Umbrella’ feat. Jay-Z
Britney Spears made a huge mistake turning down this song written by The-Dream. Huge. 'Umbrella' was the main reason Rihanna became a global mega-star in 2007, only a couple years after her debut. With a quick verse from Jay-Z at the start, the song boasted steely production from Tricky Stewart, easy-to-sing lyrics and of course the infectious hook that she came up with. The tune inspired everyone all over the world to chant, “Ella, ella, eh, eh, eh…”
‘Hate That I Love You’ feat. Ne-Yo
The third single from Ri Ri's 'Good Girl Gone Bad' LP was a certified R&B hit. 'Hate That I Love You' followed the formula for love songs that year. The mid-tempo record, written by the infallible Ne-Yo, was a play on being so deep in love that it proves impossible to remain upset with a significant other. Apparently, a lot of fans found themselves in that same position in 2007, as the song reached platinum status.
‘Don’t Stop the Music’
Rihanna did a lot of dabbling on her third album, jumping from sounds of R&B to pop. With the release of the EDM-inspired 'Don't Stop the Music,' the Bajan songstress introduced yet another element to the mix. The single even incorporated Michael Jackson's catchy “Mama say” chant from his hit 'Wanna Be Startin' Something.' When the dance-heavy track dropped, fans couldn't get enough. 'Don't Stop' instantly became an international hit, landing in the No. 1 spot on charts in more than 10 countries.
By the time this icon dropped her fourth album, 'Rated R,' she was fully invested in her “bad girl” image — so much that she professed her rude boy preference on wax. The LP's third single, 'Rude Boy' featured Rihanna as we'd never heard her before — overtly sexual. “I like the way you touch me there / I like the way you pull my hair / Baby, if I don't feel it, I ain't faking, no, no / I like when you tell me, 'Kiss it there' / I like when you tell me move it there / So get it up / Time to get it up,” she sings.
‘Only Girl (In the World)’
By 2010, Rihanna was comfortably riding the number one position in multiple countries worldwide with her EDM-inspired tracks. The singer continued her reign with the release of 'Only Girl (In the World)' as the lead single off her fifth LP, 'Loud.' She also appeared to be just as comfortable singing about sex, as the first verse implies, “I want you to love me, like I'm a hot ride / Keep thinkin' of me, doin' what you like / So boy, forget about the world cause it's gon' be me and you tonight / I wanna make you beg for it, then I'ma make you swallow your pride.”
‘What’s My Name’ feat. Drake
If there's one thing this woman knows how to do, it's keep the people talking. When her relationship with Chris Brown dissolved, Ri Ri's lyrics grew notably tougher. When news broke that Drake and the pop star had gone on a couple dates, the two welcomed the gossip with this song. After Drake's boastful verse (“I come alive in the nighttime…”), Rihanna sings, “Not everybody knows how to work my body / Knows how to make me want it / Boy, you stay up on it/ You got that something that keeps me so off balance / Baby, you're a challenge, let's explore your talent.”
‘We Found Love’ feat. Calvin Harris
'We Found Love' was the single that carried Rihanna to the upper ranks of chart history. The electro track was her 11th No. 1 single on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, tying her with Whitney Houston and putting her just behind Madonna and Mariah Carey. The video for this song also lent even more speculation to the theory that the chanteuse was relaying details about her relationship with Brown through her music. Writer and producer Calvin Harris spells it out in the video's narration, saying, “You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important, that without them, you feel like nothing.”
‘Where Have You Been’
Here, Rihanna settled into her dance-inspired comfort zone. The track, produced by Dr. Luke and Calvin Harris, landed high on the charts and succeeded in becoming the weekend party starter. On the synth-heavy song, the pop star sings about going on a mission to find the love of her life, who is, of course, exceptional in bed. “I've been everywhere, man, looking for someone / Someone who can please me, love me all night long / I've been everywhere, man,looking for you, babe / Looking for you, babe, searching for you, babe,” Rihanna sings.
‘Birthday Cake (Remix)’ feat. Chris Brown
When 'Birthday Cake' debuted on Twitter, it was meant to simply be an interlude on her upcoming LP. But when her fans heard the track, they insisted she make it a full-length song. Then Rihanna gave her “Navi” what they'd been asking for with a bonus: Chris Brown had been added to the remix. The two flirt openly on the effort, with some very suggestive lyrics regarding oral sex and the like. “It's not even my birthday, but he wanna lick the icing off / I know you want it in the worst way, can't wait to blow my candles out,” she coos.