Rihanna's #1 smash hit "Umbrella" is a defining song of the decade. The song was written with Britney Spears in mind with hopes of being a comeback hit for her. However, her label, Jive, rejected it saying they had enough songs for her upcoming album already. The song eventually made its way to Rihanna and became the first single from her Good Girl Gone Bad album. It was a #1 hit around the world and made many critics' lists as one of the top 10 songs of the year.
Rihanna headed into the studio with one of the world's top dance music producers, Scotland's Calvin Harris, and the result was magic. This dance floor smash became the biggest chart hit of Rihanna's career and served as the lead single for the Talk That Talk album.
"Disturbia" was the third single from Rihanna's re-release of her album Good Girl Gone Bad. It was written by Chris Brown and his team of writers for him to record. He decided it was more appropriate for a female singer and passed it on to Rihanna. The song is creepy, disturbing, and an impressive dance song. It went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks at the end of summer 2008. Rihanna performed "Disturbia" to open the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.
"S.O.S." borrowed key elements from Soft Cell's 1981 top 10 pop hit "Tainted Love" to put together a banging club hit. It was produced by the upcoming J.R. Rotem. "S.O.S." is the first single from Rihanna's album A Girl Like Me. It became her first #1 pop hit in the US and spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
Rihanna tried on retro Euro-disco sounds for this single from Good Girl Gone Bad. It also samples the historic disco predecessor "Soul Makossa" by Manu Dibango. Stargate produced the record, and it very quickly became a #1 dance hit for Rihanna. Later the song climbed pop radio airplay charts and ultimately ended up hitting #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
For the lead single from Unapologetic, her seventh album, Rihanna worked with a superstar set of producers and songwriters including Stargate, Sia, and Benny Blanco. The song exhibits development in Rihanna's vocal power and carries an elegance to the sound that was appealing to fans. "Diamonds" topped the Billboard Hot 100 and was ruling the chart when Unapologetic debuted at #1 becoming Rihanna's first #1 album in the US.
This song is not to be confused with Madonna's song of the same name. Stargate and Ne-Yo cowrote the hit. Her spoken, "Please!" and then a dismissive giggle are particularly memorable here. The deadpan delivery of news to an ex-lover is devastating. "Take a Bow" became Rihanna's third #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 15 weeks in the top 10.