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Rihanna says she’s “starting over” on new album ‘R9’

Rihanna has joked about the long wait for her ninth studio album ‘R9’, while also revealing that she’s now “starting over” on the record.

Fans have been eagerly awaiting news of new material, with her last album ‘Anti‘ arriving back in 2016. Now, at the launch party for Fenty Hair last night (Monday June 10), Rihanna joked about ‘R9”s delay. 

“[The product line] is probably the longest I’ve ever taken to create something,” before correcting herself: “No, I lied, that’s ‘R9’.”

While talking to Entertainment Tonight, she then gave a serious answer as to why fans have waited eight years for her ninth album.

“Music, for me, is a new discovery,” she said. “I’m rediscovering things. I have been working on the album for so long that I put all that stuff aside, and now I’m prepared to go back in the studio.”

She continued: “So, I’m now prepared. I’m gonna start. So, you know, give me a second. Yes, I’m starting over, but I don’t wanna neglect the songs that I have. I wanna listen to stuff with new ears, with my new perspective, and then see what still applies and what I’m still in love with.”

Last week, fans thought Rihanna was sending a cryptic message to her fans, telling them she had retired from music by wearing a dress that read: “I’m retired. This is as dressed up as I can get.” .

Last week, the Bajan pop star announced that she would be launching her fifth business, Fenty Hair. She will be releasing her first-ever line of haircare products with the mission “to strengthen and repair all types of hair”.

Back in December, there were rumours that Rihanna’s musical comeback was on the horizon after reports said she signed a new deal with Live Nation. A world tour was expected to happen this year or 2025 but there have been no announcements.

Recently, Rihanna shared details on her new music. In April, she told Extra that she feels the album will represent “the evolution” of her music. In the same month, she revealed she has “a lot of visual ideas” for the album.

Last month, the ‘Pon Di Replay’ singer said, “I already got stuff I feel like I could make hits out of” – adding that she and her partner A$AP Rocky had to “figure out who’s going to use what because it’s so good”.

The last song Rihanna was featured on was ‘Lift Me Up’ – the 2022 lead single for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. She did a powerful performance of the ballad at last year’s Oscars.

Last February, Rihanna headlined the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show – which was her first performance in seven years. She then followed that up this year when the ‘Diamonds’ star played her first full show in eight years for a billionaire’s private wedding in India.

In other news, Rihanna has now broken the record for having the most diamond-certified singles by a female artist. She has seven; ‘Umbrella’, ‘We Found Love (featuring Calvin Harris)’, ‘Stay’, ‘Love the Way You Lie’, ‘Needed Me’, ‘Work (featuring Drake)’, and – ironically – ‘Diamonds’.

Last July, Rihanna also became the first woman to have 10 songs reach one billion streams on Spotify. In response, she said: “Bad Gal billi’ … wit’ no new album… lemme talk my shit!”

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