If staying relevant by making controversial headlines is what Rihanna wants…then she is winning!
This week the “Rude Boy” singer managed to dominate entertainment news, after she decided to bare all and go topless while in Ireland on a video shoot for her latest single “We Found Love.”
Alan Graham, the farmer who allowed Rihanna to film in his field, felt things were getting inappropriate after seeing the pop star first strip down and then go topless for the shoot.
“I thought it was inappropriate. I requested them to stop and they did,” Graham told the BBC. “I had my conversation with Rihanna and I hope she understands where I’m coming from. We shook hands.”
Her new club banger, “We Found Love,” was released last week and within 24 hours of dropping skyrocketed from the top 200 all the way up to the top 5 on iTunes. Today the song is resting comfortably at #4.
WATCH NBC NIGHTLY NEWS COVERAGE OF RIHANNA’S VIDEO
“I think she intended no harm and chose a remote location to do her topless scenes. Regardless, we should not be surprised by her behavior. Rihanna does not have the vocal talents of Alicia Keys or Beyoncé, and has relied on being sexy, seductive and controversial to sell albums throughout her career. I would have been shocked if I read she was filming her latest video in a ball gown as opposed to going topless.”
The Barbadian born songstress is no stranger to controversy. In fact over the past year the singer has been a steady contender, next to Lady Gaga, as one of the leading pop singers with shock value.
In June, Rihanna released the video for “Man Down,” a ballad about vengeance, from her most recent album, Loud. The video tells the story of a battered woman seeking revenge. There is a powerful scene where she shoots a man down while he is walking through a busy train station.
Many people questioned if the video was Rihanna’s attempt to make a statement of revenge after her infamous incident of domestic violence with Chris Brown.
Moments after releasing “Man Down,” Rihanna responded to the harsh criticism of the images depicted in the video by saying it was intended to be a warning for young, vulnerable and innocent women to be cautious.
Rihanna faced criticism of another kind in February after her video for “S&M” was restricted by YouTube due to inappropriate sexual content. Eleven countries also banned the video from airplay.
In the video she sings lyrics like “Sex in the air/ I don’t care/ I love the smell of it/ Sticks and stones may break my bones/ But chains and whips excite me,” as she dances around in latex, poking fun at the media. The clip includes whips, a dog-leashed Perez Hilton and Rihanna being handled by the press.
During the Kadooment Day festival, in August, which took place in her native country of Barbados, Rihanna carried her provocative antics to the streets while strutting around half-naked and crotch-grinding with another scantily clad lady. She also took part in some hot and heavy dancing with her Barbadian ex-boyfriend Negus Sealy.
Regardless of the jaw-dropping moments, Rihanna still manages to profit with massive commercial appeal.
This year the singer has managed to become the face of Vita Coco Water. She along with her Loud single, “California King Bed” was featured in a Nivea skin care commercial. The Grammy Award winning singer was also named the new face of Emporio Armani underwear, joining the long list of celebs who have previously represented the brand like Megan Fox, and David and Victoria Beckham.
In July Rihanna took the throne as the queen of Facebook, beating out Lady Gaga as the most popular female star on the social networking site. The singer currently boasts over 45 million ‘likes’ on the Facebook.
Shuter says that the Rihanna’s series of controversies have been met with unfair amount of heavy criticism.
“In her prime, Madonna did much more controversial videos than Rihanna. And several singers of the past made videos that revealed more than just their breasts,” said Shuter.
On Twitter yesterday, Rihanna eluded to her most recent display of nudity when a mean-spirited follower pointed out that she looked fat as she filmed her new video, saying ”@rihanna looks fat in the we found love pics.”
Rihanna replied with humor as she said, ‘I peeped that too puts down donut.’
It’s great to see she can find light of what seems to be a very embarrassing week of events. And based on endorsements and fan support she most likely will be laughing all the way to the bank.
Rihanna’s new album, which currently is untitled, is scheduled to be released November 21.