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You probably think of Rihanna as just a recording artist. But you’d be wrong. Rihanna is a multimedia artist who uses multiple platforms, including her social media accounts, to entertain, tantalize and even to support various causes. Rihanna is the perfect artist for the digital age.

While her music may reference both Janet Jackson and Madonna in its sexual frankness and edgy production, she has all the advantages of being a star in a time when those elements combined with social media and the democratization of fashion makes her instantly accessible to fans and that much easier to set trends and influence styles.

Her collaborations with folks as diverse as Calvin Harris, Shakira, Kanye West, Future, Eminem, Mikky Ekko, Ne-Yo, and more demonstrate her command of a several musical genres, although she has become one of the preeminent pop divas of her era.

Her much anticipated R8 release with its propulsive lead single ‘Bitch Betta Have My Money” doesn’t have a release date, but like like Beyonce, she can drop it via the web at any time and her fans will support it.

Whether she’s on the sidewalk catwalk, designing for River Island or Puma or representing MAC, Dior, or her beloved homeland of Barbados, we are always watching and listening to this Caribbean queen.

The Five Essential Rihanna Videos:

“We Found Love” (watch above)

“Stay”

“Love The Way You Lie” (with Eminem)

“Russian Roulette”

“Man Down”

 

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#Forward20: Rihanna Is A Multi-Media Performance Artist  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com