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Russian Roulette (Live at Skavlan) – 2010

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Skavlan is a Norwegian-Swedish television talk show hosted by Norwegian journalist Fredrik Skavlan.

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“Birthday Cake” named by Billboard the greatest interlude of all time

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Billboard named Rihanna’s indeed iconic “Birthday Cake” as the greatest interlude of all time. Read below what they said and watch some of our favorite performances of the song:

To be fair, Rihanna did release an (arguably unnecessary) full-length remixed version of “Birthday Cake” with Chris Brown in 2012. But it’s the barely-a-minute original interlude from the year before that really endures. By that point, Rih had graduated from a singer whose musical identity hadn’t been entirely formed, to one audibly growing more confident with each release. Sixth LP Talk That Talk dropped in 2011 as her most assured to date: Here was an artist openly embracing her sexuality, and remaining, well, unapologetic for it — long gone were the days of sampling Soft Cell for kitschy dancefloor bangers and delivering hard-edged vocals about second-guessing her infidelity.

“Birthday Cake” came at a time where she felt like she was still coming into herself, but it was the baddest, fullest version of Rihanna yet. Talk That Talk was as varied as Loud and Rated R, and the songs felt more assured and experimental — “We Found Love” was exuberant, EDM-heralded megapop, while further down the tracklist, “Watch n’ Learn” incorporated island riddim into an R&B-lite hip-swinger. And in the middle of the fray, “Birthday Cake,” all guts and glory. At 1:18, the interlude is cocky, overtly sexual and entirely hinged on innuendo — “It’s not even my birthday, but he wanna lick the icing off,” she offers with a knowing grin. For one of the first times, Bad Gal RiRi was in full display, unabashedly who she was without a single fuck given, all set to an aggressive, handclapped intermezzo on a whopper of an album. She hasn’t strayed too far from that Rihanna since, and the world is better for it. — S.J.H.

Rock in Rio, 2015:

Hackney Weekend, 2012:

Diamonds World Tour, Machester, 2013:

Global Citizen, 2016:

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This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 2010, Eminem & Rihanna’s ‘Love’ Led the Hot 100

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Exactly 7 years ago, on July 31st 2010 Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna, ascended to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it reigned for seven weeks. The superstars would team up again for the 2013-14 four-week No. 1 “The Monster.”

Critics listed “Love the Way You Lie” among the best tracks of 2010 and of Eminem’s career. The song won many awards and received five Grammy nominations. It is Eminem’s best-selling single and ranked number one on several record charts, including the United States’ Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. The single sold six million copies in the US and was the best-selling song of 2010 in the United Kingdom.

The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, stars Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox in a violent relationship and shows Eminem and Rihanna in front of a burning house. The video has now over 1,3 billion views!

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📜 HistoRIH: In 2007, Rihanna Got a Handle on No. 1 With ‘Umbrella’

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June 9, 2007

Ten years ago today: Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” featuring Jay Z, led the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of seven weeks. As for the chant in the hook where Rihanna repeats “ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh,” says co-writer The-Dream: “The ‘ella’ part was a play on reverb. Back in the day, we couldn’t afford the good reverb program,” so the phrase was repeated “to make it sound like it.”

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