Song: “Rude Boy” by Rihanna
Reached #1: March 27, 2010 (her fifth, 5 weeks)
Everything we know, or think we know, about Robyn Fenty… Rihanna… boils down to one day and her reaction to it, it seems.
Of course, that day was February 6, 2009 – the day Chris Brown beat her up on the way to the Grammy Awards. That much, it seems, is not in dispute.
What’s happened after that has generated a lot of tabloid ink. I guess the most stunning parts are that in 2011, she had the restraining order pared down… and then this year, she released an album track with Brown as the featured artist.
You can – and some have – reduce this to a soundbyte: “See, there’s your proof that women enable their abusers”. I’m sure it’s a bit more complex than that – perhaps she’s just using the notoriety to sell records. It wouldn’t be the first time – it’s not like she and Brown had to be in the same studio at the same time to make the record, so it’s possible they still haven’t had any contact.
It also may not be a coincidence that the “Birthday Cake” track was designed to get press – as Rihanna is moving away from music for a while to focus on acting. What better way to get reporters’ attention, right?
In the end, my guess is that Rihanna is playing Brown for the publicity… or maybe I just hope that’s the case, because nobody wants to see Brown have another opportunity to beat her up (or worse).
Tomorrow, a new wave single that introduced rap to a mainstream (read as: “white”) audience…
Other songs that reached #1 on March 27:
1965 – “Stop! In The Name of Love” by The Supremes (their fourth, 2 weeks)