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5 times Rihanna released a better lead single than Work

We take a look at the times Rihanna struck gold with her lead singles.

Rihanna
Credit: Def Jam

Rihanna surprised us all by FINALLY releasing her new album Anti this week after months of anticipation.

After teasing us with the release of FourFiveSeconds, Bitch Better Have My Money and American Oxygen, Rihanna went and did a Beyonce on us by releasing her album with no warning. Even more surprising it contained none of the singles from last year!

Instead we were given lead single Work featuring Drake, which has split Rihanna fans down the middle. Some love it’s laidback vibe and island rhythms while others have complained that they can’t tell a word she’s singing.

We have to admit that our world wasn’t set alight by Work and it’s the first time Rihanna has released a lead single that has underwhelmed us. We take a look at five times she got it right, all of which are much better than Work!

5. Russian Roulette

Rihanna went mean and moody for the lead single from 2009 album Rated R. Deciding that she wanted to take a step away from the shiny pop sounds that she was known for, Rihanna unleashed the brutal Russian Roulette and it shocked her fans. The track is dark, brooding and filled with emotion.

4. Umbrella feat Jay-Z

Arguably her best-known hit, Umbrella was the lead single from Rihanna’s monster-selling album Good Girl Gone Bad. The stark beats, the catchy ‘ella ella’ chorus and Jay-Z’s irresistible rap made this dominate the charts for many weeks. It’s still a highlight of her live shows!

3. Diamonds

In 2012 Rihanna went against expectations by teaming up with Sia for the soaring ballad Diamonds. Not only was it not the banger we all expected, it actually showcased how strong her vocals really are. Diamonds is still one of our favourite Rihanna songs and we get chills every time we hear it.

2. Only Girl (In the World)

Loud’s lead single lived up to the title of the album! Only Girl (In the World) is one of Rihanna’s best floor-fillers and as we’ve come to expect from her, she delivered one hell of a pop banger. The song has been covered to death but no one does it better than RiRi.

1. We Found Love feat Calvin Harris

Teaming up with dance star Calvin Harris was a genius move for Rihanna when it came to the lead single from her 2011 album Talk That Talk. Rihanna’s soaring vocals combined perfectly with the house feel of the track and it’s far and away her biggest anthem yet. The way the beat builds up and breaks out into that epic chorus is simply stunning.

Rihanna’s new album Anti is available now.

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