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A little over 12 years ago, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty began her reign as the Queen of The Billboard charts. Scoring a whopping 14 #1 hits, with 7 of them being her own. Her prominent status as a musical powerhouse opened many doors for her in Fashion, tech, and philanthropy, solidifying her as one of the most iconic women in music history.
Today we will be taking a look at some of the biggest hits in Rihanna’s career as a leading artist. In her 12 year reign, Rihanna has released 8 studio albums including, Music of the sun, Good Girl Gone Bad, and Anti. As well as 68 singles, 51 of which are lead by her.
Which means we are going to exclude the other 17 hits with other artists. As well as unofficial singles from her albums. Those warrant a list of their own. Let us know what list we should do next in the comments section!
10. Pon De Replay (Music of The Sun, 2005)
Kicking off our list is the debut tune from the Bajan beauty’s debut album 2005’s Music of The Sun. Originally recorded as one of 3 demos to shop around to labels, the Dancehall inspired Pon De Replay began the long reign of Rihanna’s career peaking at #2 on the Billboard charts and turning Rihanna into the Queen of the summer.
9. Take A Bow(Good Girl Gone Bad, 2007)
Taken from the 2008 reissue of her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad, Take A Bow was an instant hit with fans. This midtempo R&B tune was written by Ne-yo and produced by his longtime collaborators Stargate. The song shot straight to the top of the charts, peaking at #1 before eventually being certified 4x Platinum by the Recording Industry Associate of America (RIAA).
8. S.O.S (A Girl Like Me, 2006)
Originally written as a comeback single for actress turned singer Christina Milian, S.O.S is heavy hitting dance-pop number sampling Softcell’s ‘Tainted Love’. The track would eventually get recorded by Rihanna after Milian regretfully passed on it. S.O.S peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming the singer’s very first to do so.
7. Rude Boy ( Rated R, 2009)
Our seventh entry is the sexy dancehall number, Rude Boy taken from Rihanna’s fourth studio album, Rated R. The sixth number one single of the singer’s career was a shining moment in the singer’s darkest era. Surrounded by several gothy tracks is one of the biggest summer hits of 2010 which featured a music video that only M.I.A could envy.
6. Only Girl (In The World) (Loud, 2010)
Rihanna may appear to be tough as nails, our next entry proves that some of the baddest girls are really good at heart. Only Girl is about wanting to be loved as if there was no other girl in the world. The Eurodance inspired single was one of three to go to #1 from the singer’s fifth studio album Loud.
5. What’s My Name featuring Drake (Loud, 2010)
Our fifth entry marks the first time Rihanna teamed up with Canadian rapper Drake. On the Stargate produced track, Riri and Drizzy both toy with the idea of them eventually being romantically involved. The Electro-R&B number incorporates themes of sex and romance over a dancehall-inspired riddim. The song was the first of three #1 hits from the singer’s Loud album, the third being the synth-heavy S&M.
4. We Found Love featuring Calvin Harris (Talk that Talk, 2011)
Teaming up with yet another frequent collaborator, Rihanna and Calvin Harris’s first outing is the angelic dance-pop hit We Found Love. Taken from the singer’s 6th studio album, Talk that Talk. This track single-handedly shifted the sound of dance influenced pop records for years to come. The song became a global hit while being certified 9x Platinum by the RIAA.
3. Diamonds (Unapologetic, 2012)
If you thought Rihanna’s reign as the queen of the charts was going to end, well I got news for you it didn’t. Diamonds became Rihanna’s twelfth number one on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as topping the charts worldwide almost instantly after its release.The song was the biggest hit from her 2012 seventh album Unapologetic, which also featured hits Pour It up and Stay. The song’s popularity proved so potent that it help propel the album to #1 giving Rihanna her first #1 album of her career.
2. Work ( Anti, 2016)
The third of the four collabs with Canadian rapper Drake, Work was somewhat of a comeback single for the Barbadian star. Work sees a return to the singer’s earlier dancehall roots, with lyrics incorporating West Indian Patois and Creole backed with one of the most simplistic hooks to date. The song became the first Dancehall song to peak at #1 on the Hot 100 since Sean Paul’s 2006 single Temperature (fun fact Paul got a top ten hit with Rihanna the same year) a mere decade later.
1. Umbrella Feat. Jay-Z (Good Girl Gone Bad, 2007)
In 2007, Rihanna went from rising star to a global icon with the lead single from her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad. Umbrella served as a reintroduction of Rihanna from the sweet bubbly island girl to the hard-hitting Rihanna of today. Paired with a matching haircut, Rihanna’s new sound was harder better, faster, and stronger. The song went on to become Rihanna’s biggest hit to date spending 7 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.