Rihanna’s eighth album ANTI was a highly anticipated one. Fans were ready to hear what the Roc Nation superstar had instore, but when Adele had released her “Hello” single, it seemed as though the British native had taken over. Adele, on that one single alone had broken all records and her chart topping hit had left people like Rihanna nervous of their own upcoming projects. So instead of releasing her album on the same day as Adele, Rihanna chose to postpone it for another date, a date when Adele’s album hype would have fizzled down to some degree.
Rihanna’s repeated delays didn’t just make her fans nervous, but it made Samsung, her official sponsor, even more nervous given the $25 million deal for her album rollout and upcoming tour. After rumors of the deal, at the end October, Rihanna sent out a tweet on Nov 19, 2015 of the Samsung-powered website AntiDiary.com, which led fans to a mobile app in which they could explore a series of locked rooms. Since then, she has released seven promotional videos as rooms within the app unlocked, with the eighth room set to contain the album itself.
When her official music video for ‘Work’ was released after a long delay it seemed as though this new single, which followed her “American Oxygen” video, meant that things were now in momentum, until she abruptly postponed her live performance at the Grammy’s, conveniently blaming it on bronchitis.
One might add, after all these repetitive delays, why would another one be permitted? Well it has been mentioned that Rihanna is experiencing production delays with the show. Meaning that the start date of her Anti world tour, which was originally predicted to kick off on Feb. 26 in San Diego, will now begin on March 12 in Jacksonville, Florida. Travis Scott is said to be on tour with her as the opening act for the North America leg, while The Weeknd and Big Sean will join Rihanna for her two-month tour in Europe, which is scheduled to begin in April.
Things are not looking good for Rihanna, with three singles in 2015 — “Bitch Better Have My Money” (which peaked at No. 15), “American Oxygen” (No. 78) and the Kanye West and Paul McCartney’s “FourFiveSeconds” (which peaked at No. 4). Even worse, The UK newspaper The Sun said: “Rihanna’s album struggled to hit No. 7 on the UK charts, marking it the first time in six years that one of her albums hasn’t gone to No. 1.” They also added that: “The album has been one of the most disorganized and disastrous album releases in music history.”
For Rihanna’s sake, hopefully there will be some kind of redemption down the road, but despite all the doubt, there is no denying her superstar talent.