On Jan. 27, 2020, Rihanna fans (that is, everyone we know) will officially have been waiting four years for a new album from the singer. Since then, they’ve been sweating, anticipating — and complaining in every corner of the internet — about when they’ll see the follow-up to 2016’s “Anti.”
Despite countless rumors to the contrary, 2019 came and went with no new Rihanna album (dubbed “R9" by fans) — though they did get plenty of Savage X Fenty drops, magazine covers and a handful of memes teasing the Navy about the lack of music. In the final days before 2020, Rihanna posted she had been listening to R9 herself, further stoking hopes. But the year came and went, and with it any hope for new RiRi music.
With no clear timeline for when the singer will actually share her next album, we’ve put together a list of all the things Rihanna has done instead of releasing new music.
1. Launched Fenty x Puma
And because it came from the brain of Rihanna herself, you couldn’t get a pair of those creepers if you tried.
2. Was honored by Harvard
Robyn Rihanna Fenty: musician, fashion icon and Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year.
3. Hosted three Diamond Balls
With the exception of 2016, Rihanna has held a fundraiser each year for her charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation.
4. Started a beauty empire
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Want a chance to kick it with @badgalriri, get glammed up by her team, and get some #FENTYBEAUTY swag??? When you donate to #Rihanna’s @claralionelfdn at omaze.com/rihanna, you enter for a chance to win alladat! . . . . Must be 18+ to enter or win. No purchase or donation necessary to enter or win. Promotion not sponsored by Instagram. Ends February 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST. See omaze.com/rihanna for official rules.
It’s hard to believe there was ever a time that Fenty highlighters didn’t exist, but thank God that all changed on Sept. 7, 2017, when Fenty Beauty launched.
5. Played a sexy alien in “Valerian”
In 2017, Rihanna delivered a sultry dance number as an alien called Bubble in the movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”
6. Made a cameo on a song
We got a baby bop with N.E.R.D.’s “Lemon” in November 2017 with just a taste of Rihanna. Sorry but it wasn’t enough.
7. Launched Savage X Fenty
On top of a beauty empire, RiRi launched her lingerie empire in May 2018.
8. Became an ambassador for Barbados
In 2018, Rihanna was honored by her home island to promote education and tourism.
9. Starred in “Ocean’s 8"
We will never forget the perfect hacker Nine Ball. Hack us, Rihanna.
10. Made Fenty into a luxury fashion brand
In spring 2019, RiRi made her own Parisian fashion house.
11. Became the first black woman to lead a major luxury fashion house in Paris
And she gave T Magazine a first look at it.
12. Starred in a film called “Guava Island” alongside Donald Glover
It was nice to see her get serenaded by Glover, but sadly “Guava Island” wasn’t a Rihanna album!
13. Created the greatest fashion show of all-time
With Victoria’s Secret #cancelled, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show became the show of the year featuring Normani, Halsey and Migos. Plus it has the added benefit of being available anytime on Amazon.
14. Gave an interview
She spoke! And told the world she was working on a reggae album in 2018. The one we have yet to hear!
15. Shared a video of her working on R9 in the studio
Everything looked real glittery in this video, but we still have yet to see a thing!
16. Revealed she was looking for “balance”
Rih revealed her 2020 New Year’s resolution early.
17. Registered a song called “Private Loving” on BMI
Apparently the song registered in 2019 is allegedly written by Rihanna and Jamaican dancehall artist Demarco. The sound of it still remains a mystery.
18. Named Normani Savage X Fenty’s first brand ambassador
There’s nothing like a Rihanna co-sign.
19. Trademarked “Fenty Skin”
In April, Rihanna decided she was looking to get into the skincare game.
20. Sued her father’s company
Rihanna sued Fenty Entertainment, her father’s company, for “damaging her beauty brand” and claimed he tried to book a 15-date tour without her permission.
21. Co-chaired the 2018 Met Gala
For the Heavenly Bodies theme, she wasn’t just Rihanna: she was Pope Rihanna.
22. Skipped the 2019 Met Gala
Rihanna is the Met Gala so her not being there was an event in itself.
23. Got memorably day drunk with Seth Meyers
Who wouldn’t want to drink a “Bitch Better Have My Bunny” cocktail with Rihanna and get lit?
24. Performed “Lemon” with Pharrell at the 2019 Diamond Ball
Way to make us wish we had a Diamond Ball invite this year.
25. Released a coffee table book
Rihanna released a 500-page visual autobiography with more than 1,000 photographs taken by Dennis Leupold.
26. Wore a giant scarf
Rihanna bundles up in the cold just like the rest of us.
27. Raised $5 million for her nonprofit
The 2019 Diamond Ball was a success.
28. Received a British Fashion Award
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so honored and proud to be the recipient of a British Fashion Award in the category of Urban Luxe! shout out to my incredible @fenty team, and my @LVMH partners! It’s been less than 7 months and we did it! 💪🏿 gang gang! @britishfashioncouncil thank you for this acknowledgment, I’ll never forget this moment! photo credits: @jenohill, Darren Gerrish @gettyimages, Jeff Spicer / BFC @gettyimages, Gareth Cattermole / BFC @gettyimages
Winning awards less than seven months into her LVMH partnership.
29. Was asked about where her music was
She felt “attacked.”
30. Teased her fans for being impatient about the wait for her music
Again, Rihanna continues to constantly play with us.
31. Posed in lingerie
Naturally, she looks great.
32. Posed in lingerie again
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This holiday season, ya girl is comin’ all the way through! I’m sharing my very own stylist with you so you BETTER. GET. READY. I brought on @illjahjah to create THREE @savagexfenty Xtra VIP Boxes – one for each of your Savage moods 🥳😏🥰 They drop 11/1 at MIDNIGHT EST only on savagex.com/jahleel. #UXTRA
Why wouldn’t she?
33. Advocated for human rights
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With more protests planned for today, June 30, I send my ❤️ and I pray for the safety of the Sudanese people. They have a right to speak out and demand peace, justice, and a transition to civilian rule. Over 100 were killed and hundreds more were wounded during the June 3rd protests. Military rulers need to be held accountable. Praying for no more killings or abuse today. Fight for human rights in #Africa and stand with protesters in #Sudan. #BlueforSudan #IAmSudaneseRevolution #Watch_Sudan_on_June30th 💙🇸🇩💙🇸🇩💙 🙏🏿💪🏿🙏🏿💪🏿🙏🏿
Rihanna gave her support to the people of Sudan.
35. Shut down pregnancy rumors
With a bikini and a blunt, RiRi knows how to stop people from talking.
36. Called out Donald Trump
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Um... Donald, you spelt “terrorism” wrong! Your country had 2 terrorist attacks back to back, hours apart leaving almost 30 innocent people dead. This, just days after yet another terrorist attack in California, where a terrorist was able to LEGALLY purchase an assault rifle (AK-47) in Vegas, then drive hours to a food festival in Cali leaving 6 more people dead including a young infant baby boy! Imagine a world where it’s easier to get an AK-47 than a VISA! Imagine a world where they build a wall to keep terrorists IN AMERICA!!! My prayers and deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims and the communities affected and traumatized, from Texas, California, and Ohio! I’m so sorry for your loss! Nobody deserves to die like this! NOBODY!
“Donald, you spelt ‘terrorism’ wrong!”
37. Paid tribute to photographer Peter Lindbergh
I would like Rihanna to cradle my head like that.
38. Met with French President Emmanuel Macron to fund global education
Rih met with him at least two times. It’s nice to see her voice valued!
39. Had a street named after her
In Barbados, Westbury New Road in St. Michael has become Rihanna Drive.
40. Left the runway on the back of a motocross bike
She had to show she was a badass at NYFW, of course.
41. Was the World’s Therapist
Over Twitter DMs, she gave one fan some much-needed breakup advice.
42. Heckled Kevin Durant
You don’t want Rihanna yelling “BRIIIIIICK” at you. Ever.
43. Inspired a buddy comedy from a photo with her and Lupita Nyong’o
The internet made this magic happen. With Issa Rae reportedly penning the script and Ava DuVernay directing, this film will be a must-see.
44. Blinded us with her Coachella outfit
Shine bright like a diamond.
45. Designed a jewelry line
Rih designed literal diamonds in a collaboration with Chopard.
46. Sneaked a flask into the 2017 Grammys
It was badass and bedazzled.
47. Posed in front of a headless statue of herself
48. Used a wine glass as an accessory
She basically invented wine glasses.
49. Dropped “No More Music” T-shirts
They were $230 a pop.
50. Will be the subject of a forthcoming documentary
Amazon reportedly paid $25 million for the documentary.
51. Photoshopped the Queen of England on her own outfit
But who wore it better?
52. Supported immigrants
We can’t help but stan!
53. Encouraged voting
No one else could pull off a shirt that says “I’m with her” and features Hillary Clinton and Rihanna herself on it.
54. Called out Trump again over Puerto Rico
She wanted to make sure the president saw the Daily News cover showing the state of Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria.
55. Was honored with the Video Vanguard award at the VMAs
Four performances we’ll never forget.
56. Earned her sixth Vogue cover
Like the fashion icon she is.
57. Gave us iconic Crop Over festival looks each year
The feathers! The rhinestones! The flair!
58. Turned down a Super Bowl performance
Rih stood in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
59. Trolled fans about her ninth album
Such a tease!
60. Was featured on DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts”
The track became one of the songs of summer 2017.
61. Was featured on Kendrick Lamar track
The single, titled “Loyalty,” was featured on Lamar’s fourth album, “Damn.”
62. Won a Grammy
After being featured on Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty,” Rihanna took home her ninth Grammy.
63. Called out Snapchat for mocking her domestic violence situation with Chris Brown
“I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb!” she wrote in a statement.
64. Got a new tattoo
It was a shark.
65. Purchased a home in West London in 2018
Rihanna wanted to be closer to her Fenty label.
66. Took a photo with an inflatable couch
That couch is so lucky to be graced with Rihanna’s presence.
67. Wished her niece a happy birthday
Majesty was looking especially like royalty.
68. Shared a photo of a Louis Vuitton toilet
A fancy toilet got a special post on her Instagram feed.
69. Posed with Anna Wintour
Nothing says icon status like posing for a photo with Anna Wintour.
70. Insulted Diplo
No one throws shade like Rihanna.
71. Checked into “Bates Motel”
In 2017, Rihanna portrayed Marion Crane in the final season of the A&E series.
72. Just in: She announced a release date for R9!