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Rihanna's 8 studio albums have all reached
the top 10 region on Billboard 200, and "Anti"
is no exception, becoming her second #1 album.
Your top source for Rihanna Fenty
June 17 2016
Start of the European ANTI World Tour leg.
June 2016
Rihanna x Dior Sunglasses release.
September 2016
Rihanna x Puma Fall/Winter 2016 collection release.

PAPER MAGAZINE – It’s been almost ten years since Rihanna first graced our cover back in August 2007. It was right when she’d released her explosive third album Good Girl Gone Bad featuring the smash single “Umbrella.” Back then, just like her album’s title implies, Rihanna was at a turning point in her career, starting to break out of the glossy, pop princess mold and find her voice and her unique sense of style. “[Good Girl Gone Bad] really represents my liberation,” she told our writer Bevy Smith at the time.

In the decade since, she’s certainly found that freedom. She’s dropped five more albums, including last year’s hit Anti; was named CFDA’s Fashion Icon of the Year in 2014 (and accepted the award in that unforgettable, crystal-studded see-through Adam Selman gown); designed two Fenty Puma collections with the athletic brand (and will debut her third in Paris on March 6th); received the MTV Video Vanguard Award last August; and even traveled to Cambridge, MA, earlier this week to accept Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. And, amidst all this, what’s nearly as remarkable as her creative and professional accomplishments is the fact that she’s remained the cool, DGAF chick who will bring a bedazzled flask to the Grammys and often returns home to Barbados to don a bejeweled bikini and feathered headdress for carnival.

Now, the woman who can do it all is lending her talents to Hollywood; she’s part of the all-female Ocean’s Eight cast, starring alongside acting heavyweights like Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway. For our spring #BreakTheRules cover, our team took inspiration from her budding acting career and chameleon-like powers of transformation to cast her as a high fashion clerk in a bodega of the future. “We thought it would be interesting to put a superstar like Rih in such an everyday surrounding,” says Shannon Stokes, who styled our shoot alongside Farren Fucci. “And Farren added the ‘future’ angle to give it a twist, so it became a challenge to envision what a girl who worked there might look like,” he added.

Click through to see Badgal behind the counter and pick up a copy of our new issue when it hits stands March 6th.

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Rihanna has covered CR Fashion Book’s ninth issue, which is available on newsstands globally. Order your copy right here, and check out the photo shoot in HQ in our gallery.

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For W’s September 2016 cover, Rihanna is imagined by Edward Enninful, Steven Klein and a slew of designers, as pop’s Furiosa, the last woman on earth and the ruling warrior queen in a dark, dystopian future.

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IT’S SUPER BOWL SUNDAY, and I am in the large gothic home of Real Housewife Carlton Gebbia in Beverly Hills, the setting for Rihanna’s Vogue shoot. The 28-year-old singer appears in the doorway, fresh off a plane from Toronto, where the night before she and Drake wrapped the video for their hit single “Work.” She is wearing a vintage Guess leather biker jacket, a gray Star Wars T-shirt, and green Vetements sweatpants, her sleek black hair chopped into a blunt nineties bob. Even such a Netflix-and-chill look cannot conceal the singular proportions of her body. She hugs me hello and then floats upstairs, where hair and makeup stylists await.

I settle into a chair outside and pass the time by—what else?—checking my phone. Thanks to the demands of the 24-hour news cycle, every Instagram post by a pop star has become a source of intrigue, every teased video clip fodder for frenzied speculation. On this particular afternoon, the RiRi chatter, robust on any day, is reaching peak hysteria.

Ten days earlier, Rihanna dropped Anti, her first album since 2012. For seven years, she had released a new pop confection every year, like clockwork. Then, suddenly, nothing. It wasn’t just the timing. Anti immediately announced itself as something different. A defiant, idiosyncratic mix of dance hall, doo-wop, and soul, it did not deliver her usual instantly gratifying, reliable pop formula. Stoking the fire were rumors that Anti was leaked through Tidal, the streaming service run by Jay Z and co-owned by Rihanna. Next were the reports of impossibly low sales figures. Then, the day before, out of nowhere, came the surprise release of Beyoncé’s pointedly political video for “Formation.” The Internet is ablaze: Did Bey just try to steal RiRi’s thunder? And, most breathlessly: Is Rihanna going to make a surprise appearance at the Super Bowl?!

Rihanna, meanwhile, is reclining on a chaise on a veranda in the sun, taking pulls from a joint and sending wisps of smoke into the cloudless California sky. She’s listening to a remix of Sia’s “Chandelier,” occasionally belting out a lyric in that inimitable Bajan tone: “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist! Like it doesn’t exist!”

WE ARE LIVING in a golden age of pop divas. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Adele: Rarely have the top ranks been so ruled by women. We feel vulnerable with Adele, empowered by Taylor. We want to watch Beyoncé. Watch her dance, watch her dominate the marketplace, watch her slay. In this gloriously crowded arena, Rihanna transmits something unique. Not afraid to show us her flaws, Rihanna inspires us to, as her friend Cara Delevingne puts it, “go with your instinct and go with your gut, and if people don’t like you, fuck ’em.”

This take-it-or-leave-it realness is what draws young women into the ranks of Rihanna’s fiercely loyal fan base, known as her Navy, after a lyric from her song “G4L.” And in 2016, the Navy is going to get a lot of Rihanna.

Over the next few weeks alone, her plan is to fly to New York to debut a collection she designed for Puma at New York Fashion Week; return to L.A. for the Grammys; then head to London to perform at the Brit Awards (she will grind with Drake in white-hot fringed pants); and, two days after that, go back to California to begin a 63-city world tour. Her looks on tour are “inspired by neutral earth tones,” she says, “and evolve from one extreme to the other as the show progresses.” Joining her will be Big Sean and the Weeknd in Europe, as well as Travis Scott, whom she’s been seen out with in the last few months. “I like to bring people who can get the crowd excited,” she says.

“I probably am going to have like four days of tour rehearsal in total, which is Freaking. Me. Out,”

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The author and filmmaker Miranda July asks the pop superstar what turns her on, how she handles the pressure of public scrutiny and why she’s been Googling childbirth. (Then they become best friends.)

I DRESSED VERY CAREFULLY for her, the way I would for a good friend, thinking hard about what she likes. What I think she likes. I ordered Uber Black — the highest level of Uber I’ve ridden. The driver said it would be about an hour and a half to Malibu, a long time to resist telling him where I was going.

‘‘I’m going to meet Rihanna,’’ I finally yelled over the radio.

He turned the radio down.

‘‘Rihanna. I’m going to meet her, to interview her. That’s where we’re going.’’

‘‘You kidding? That’s my girl,’’ he said. ‘‘I love her. She’s so down-to-earth. She always keep it cool with her friend and her family. Her and Melissa, I think they are the best celebrity friends. I always say that.’’

‘‘Melissa Forde,’’ I said, to show that I knew who he meant.

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Rihanna is firmly in control of her life and career—but not of her image, which has veered between club-hopping temptress and poster child for victims of domestic abuse. As the 27-year-old readies her long-awaited new album, she talks candidly about the chasm between her reality and her reputation.

What makes Rihanna special—outside of the music—is that she is someone who is genuinely herself. People connect with her. You are seeing the authentic version of who she is. You can see her scars and her flaws…. She’s gone through things that everyone’s gone through—dysfunctional relationships, things that played out in front of everyone’s eyes—and she’s done a real good job of keeping her life private, but just living her life as a young person … unapologetically. You have to have a tough skin in this business; you’re going to hear some things about yourself that you’re going to think, What?? Are you crazy? — Jay Z.

I honestly think how much fun it would be to live my reputation. People have this image of how wild and crazy I am, and I’m not everything they think of me. The reality is that the fame, the rumors—this picture means this, another picture means that—it really freaks me out. It made me back away from even wanting to attempt to date. It’s become second nature for me to just close that door and just be O.K. with that. I’m always concerned about whether people have good or bad intentions. — Rihanna

Rihanna sits across the table from me in the private room at Giorgio Baldi, her favorite restaurant in L.A. Her hair is reddish, wavy; her face seems free of makeup. She’s even more beautiful in person than she is in her photos. She’s wearing a white crop top, denim cutoff shorts, Puma sneakers, and a flowing Chinese-patterned robe. When she orders three half-portions of pasta dishes (spaghetti pomodoro with basil, gnocchi, and ravioli), I ask how she maintains her curvy but slim figure.

She says, “Legit, I have been in the gym every day this week because I am not willing to give up my food. But I will sacrifice an hour for the gym.”

The 27-year-old woman in front of me is not the provocative, wild hip-hop prom queen, the sexy girl allegedly at the center of a jealous, bottle-throwing brawl in a nightclub, nor the habitué of L.A. and New York hot spots 1Oak and Up & Down. Nor is she the woman who has been described as badass, shocking, naughty, tough—pictured in tabloids and online with various rumored rapper/actor/athlete boyfriends. She is elegant, funny, straightforward, and downright horrified (and laughs hysterically) at all of the rumors I toss at her. And while people may assume that her life is just one big, long, sexy night out on the town, she insists it’s not true. I ask about her bad-girl reputation.

“Honestly, I’ve been thinking lately about how boring I am,” she says. “When I do get time to myself, I watch TV.”

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In a world of phonies, Rihanna is the realest. How she manages this, we may never know.

THE FADER – As I’m writing this, there are members of the Rihanna Navy lined up on the sidewalk outside the Macy’s in downtown Brooklyn. They’re waiting for Rihanna to appear and perform at the unveiling of her seventh perfume, RiRi, on Monday. That’s in three days. They’ve been there since 6 a.m. Plenty of time to wonder what she’ll wear. What she’ll say.

I get it. I’ve waited for Rihanna too. In fact, I’m waiting for her right now. The whole deal with this cover story was that she wouldn’t grant us any facetime, or phone time, but agreed to answer five questions over email.

Thing is, I knew she could go ghost. Not just because she can, which she can. Not just because of Beyoncé’s recent Vogue September issue cover story, where Pulitzer-prize winner Margo Jefferson wrote a killer writearound with zero involvement or comment from Bey’s camp. But because I’ve been in exactly this position before—seven times, actually, if you count each leg of Rihanna’s 777 Tour in 2012.

From Mexico City to Berlin and Toronto to Stockholm, I’ve waited for Rihanna. Once, I waited on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle airport for three hours because she wasn’t quite finished shopping for lingerie at Chantal Thomas. After which she stopped at La Perla, another very nice underwear store. This was documented on Rihanna’s Instagram, and Just Jared’s. I think she ran into Puffy at La Perla.

At the time I—along with 140 other journalists, a handful of fans, and a caravan of international contest winners—was sleep-deprived, hungry, and utterly fucked sideways from back-to-back redeye flights. The tour was the brainchild of Rihanna and her manager Jay Brown. A Boeing 777 furnished by Delta would squire a roving enclave of carefully selected individuals to visit 7 countries in 7 days for 7 Rihanna concerts and parties to commemorate her 7th studio album in as many years.

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