Where have you been? Rihanna releases new music after a six-year hiatus

By Piper Sartison

Elm Staff Writer

After six years, Rihanna finally returned to music. 

With two new singles, the announcement of her 2023 Superbowl performance, and a 2022 Savage X Fenty runway show, the artist’s comeback is in full swing. 

After her most recent album, “Anti,” debuted in 2016, Rihanna took a break from the music industry. According to Cosmopolitan, during this time, she developed a romantic relationship with rapper ASAP Rocky, with whom the singer had a baby boy in May 2022. 

Fans began speculating about a comeback earlier this autumn, when on Sept. 25, 2022, Rihanna posted a picture of her tattooed arm holding a football, captioning it with a simple period.

The star did not need to indicate anything more; her fans swarmed social media, raving over the long-awaited Super Bowl performance.

Following the shocking announcement, Rihanna released two singles for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” titled “Lift Me Up” and “Born Again.” 

“Lift Me Up” is a peaceful melody composed of graceful vocals, while “Born Again” is a slower yet riveting song with captivating lyrics. Both singles are different from her previous album in 2016, as “Anti” was full of tracks influenced by R&B.

The star also told Vogue that she is looking at her new musical projects, “…completely differently from the way [she] had wanted to put it out before.”

Despite the excitement surrounding these songs, Rihanna’s comeback has been charged with controversy.

On Nov. 9, the artist released the fourth season of her lingerie runway show — Savage X Fenty — on Amazon Prime. 

Actor Johnny Depp strutted the runway after his intense court battle with ex-wife Amber Heard over defamation. According to People, the show was Depp’s first high profile appearance since the trial. 

Depp’s appearance on the runway garnered controversy on social media, and fans were quick to tweet their frustrations. 

“We will boycott the show if Depp is in it,” Rihanna fan account @ICYRIH said on Twitter.

“Delete the Johnny Depp scene now if it ever existed,” Twitter user @Atleeeeeeee said before the show premiered.

Although she is stepping back into fame, Rihanna’s personal life remains guarded. Rihanna and ASAP Rocky worked to keep their child’s name and image away from the public. 

In an interview with The Washington Post, she claimed that for her to take a step back from motherhood to pursue her vision for the Superbowl performance, she had to make sure that it was for something special. 

“It was now or never for me,” she said.

For now, fans are anticipating her well awaited reappearance at the Superbowl, airing Sunday, Feb. 12th at 6 p.m. Easten Standard Time from Inglewood, California. 

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Photo caption: During her hiatus, Rihanna began a number of business ventures, including a lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, as well as Fenty Beauty, her own makeup line.

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