Bajan superstar Rihanna is now more than a singer, she is an icon, entrepreneur and billionaire. Born on the tiny Caribbean island of Barbados as Robyn Rihanna Fenty, the singer was spotted by producer Evan Rogers in Barbados as a teenager and signed to Def Jam in 2005.
Rihanna’s first two albums, Music Of The Sun and A Girl Like Me, released in 2005 and 2006, both had successful singles on them, such as ‘Pon De Replay’ and ‘SOS’. Furthermore, they both charted fairly well, with Music Of The Sun peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and A Girl Like Me peaking at number five ins the US and UK charts.
However, Rihanna’s third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, saw her achieve global super fame. As part of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation roster, in 2007, Good Girl Gone Bad debuted at number two in the US but topped the UK charts as well as in Australia, Canada, Switzerland and Ireland. The album’s lead single ‘Umbrella’ featuring Jay-Z, is eight times platinum, and the album won Rihanna a Grammy for ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2007.
Since ‘Umbrella’, Rihanna has gone on to work with all sorts of big acts, including Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kanye and others, so we have gone through a list of the superstar’s features to figure out Rihanna’s top five guest verses.
The five best Rihanna guest verses:
5. ‘Love The Way You lie’ – Eminem ft Rihanna, (2010)
Featured on Eminem’s seventh studio album Recovery, ‘Love The Way You Lie’ is an emotional song that tells the story of a couple stuck in an abusive relationship and is extremely sombre. Written by esteemed songwriter Skylar Grey, the track is a reflective hip-hop ballad and is reminiscent of Eminem’s 2000 single ‘Stan’.
The track peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart. Furthermore, it won Best Rap Song at the Billboard Music Awards. The track is currently Diamond certified in the US. However, whether the rapper would have achieved that solo is questionable.
4. ‘Live Your Life’ – T.I. ft Rihanna, (2008)
Released as the seventh single for T.I.’s sixth studio album, Paper Trail, ‘Live Your Life’ was a hit for T.I. topping the Billboard Hot 100 and debuting at number two on the UK Singles Chart. This 2008 T.I. album was a resurgence for T.I., who (known as a crunk artist) was beginning to fade.
The track is an interpolation of the song ‘Dragostea Din Tei’ by the Moldovan boy band O-Zone which was a well-known club hit in Europe. The song is currently three times platinum and helped T.I. make a comeback.
3. ‘Wild Thoughts’ – DJ Khaled ft Rihanna & Bryson Tiller, (2017)
An undeniably catchy song. ‘Wild Thoughts’ by DJ Khaled is based on a sample from Santana’s 1999 song ‘Maria Maria’ featuring The Product G&B. The original song was written by Wyclef Jean. Khaled’s 2017 modernised version was just as good, if not a little better.
This was one of the last features Rihanna did before her hiatus and switch to focus on Fenty Beauty. The track reached number one in the UK and peaked at number two in the US. The video has over 1 billion streams on YouTube.
2. ‘Run This Town’ – Jay-Z ft Kanye West & Rihanna, (2009)
This track was featured on Jay-Z’s 2009 album The Blueprint 3. The project featured some fantastic songs, including ‘On To The Next One’ ft Swizz Beats and the renowned ‘Empire State Of Mind’ ft Alicia Keys. However, ‘Run This Town’ is a highlight.
Produced by Kanye West and his old mentor No I.D., ‘Run This Town’ peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 but managed to clinch the top spot in the UK. the track won two Grammy awards for ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration’ and ‘Best Rap Song’.
1. ‘All Of The Lights’ – Kanye West ft Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Fergie, La Roux, Charlie Wilson, & John Legend, (2010)
Some would argue one of the best Kanye songs ever, ‘All Of The Lights’ is an exciting track that features a lot of people. Every feature has a specific part on the track, and it creates a grand euphoric swell as more people join the song.
Produced by West, ‘All Of The Lights’ was the fourth single off his fifth 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The single won two Grammy awards in the Best Rap Song and ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration’ categories. The track, according to Kanye, took two years to make and perfect.
Kanye recruited the best in the industry to work on the track and even got the track’s piano section to be played by Elton John. The track has surpassed platinum five times and still is considered along with ‘Monster’ as one of the best tracks from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Watch the fantastic visuals for the track below. The music video was directed by Hype Williams.