One could say that Rihanna fans have grown impatient waiting for her ninth studio album, when really they are past the point of impatience — and for good reason.
The Grammy winner has not released an album since January 2016, when she dropped her magnum opus, Anti, which included the blockbuster singles “Work” featuring Drake, “Needed Me,” “Kiss It Better” and “Love on the Brain.” Since then, she has been teasing and teasing and teasing her next project, but other ventures — namely her multimillion-dollar Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin brands — have delayed the process.
#R9, as fans have temporarily dubbed the album, has been in the works for at least two years. Rihanna first confirmed that she was “in the studio and working on new music” in June 2018 while appearing on The Graham Norton Show. Even then, she stayed mum about the details, teasing, “You’ll just have to wait and see.”
When asked for an update 15 months later, the Barbados native was equally tight-lipped. “Well, obviously, I’m a confident woman, so whatever I do, it’s gon’ be confident — whether it’s the album, perfume, lingerie, makeup or fashion,” she told Entertainment Tonight in September 2019. “Y’all gon’ have to wait, Navy. I’m so sorry.”
That said, not everything about the album has been top-secret. Rihanna confirmed that it is inspired by her reggae and dancehall roots, and Pharrell Williams and The-Dream are on the shortlist of producers helping her pull it all together. As for the release date, well, even RiRi has no idea.
Scroll down for everything we know so far about #R9!