Unapologetic is the seventh studio album by artist Rihanna. It was released on November 19, 2012, by Def Jam Recordings and SRP Records. As executive producer, Rihanna enlisted previous collaborators The-Dream, David Guetta, Chase & Status, and StarGate to work alongside new collaborators such as Parker Ighile, Mike Will Made-It, and Labrinth.
Unapologetic is mainly a pop and R&B album that incorporates elements of dubstep, hip hop, EDM and reggae in its production, similar to the sound of her previous albums Talk That Talk and Rated R (2009). The album produced seven singles including the international hits “Diamonds” and “Stay”.
“Diamonds” premiered on September 26, 2012, and was released the following day as the lead single from Unapologetic. The cover artwork for the song features Rihanna rolling diamonds on a piece of marijuana paper. The song’s music video depicts Rihanna in four environments that represent the elements of earth, air, water and fire. “Diamonds” debuted at number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually reaching number one, giving Rihanna her twelfth number one in the country and tying her with Madonna and The Supremes as the artists with the fifth-most number ones in the chart’s history. The song also topped the charts in eighteen other countries worldwide including Austria, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
“Stay“, which features guest vocals by American recording artist Mikky Ekko was released as the second international single from the album on January 28, 2013. The song’s accompanying music video was released on February 11, 2013 via E! and then to VEVO the following day. The song reached the top five of twenty-four countries worldwide including number four in the UK and number three on the US Billbard Hot 100, becoming Rihanna’s twenty-fourth top ten on the latter chart, thus passing Whitney Houston’s tally of 23 top ten songs. Furthermore, it reached number one in Canada, Czech Republic and Denmark, while also topping the US Pop Songs chart.
“Pour It Up” was solicited to urban radio as the album’s third single in the United States on January 8, 2013. The song debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 90, eventually reaching a top twenty peak of number 19. “Pour It Up” additionally charted on multiple sub-charts in the country including number one and six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, and number 47 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It also made appearances in other countries such as Canada, France and the UK. A remix of “Pour It Up” was later distributed with rap verses from American rappers Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Juicy J, and T.I. On October 2, 2013, an accompanying music video was released to Rihanna’s official Vevo account after several delays.
“Loveeeeeee Song” was released as the fourth single on April 3, 2013 and impacted on urban radio stations in the United Kingdom. The song peaked at number 55 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the R&B Chart in the UK. In addition to its chart performance, it also peaked at number 14 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs due to strong digital downloads.
“Right Now” was released as the fifth single from the album and was sent to contemporary hit radio in the United States on May 28, 2013. Upon the release of Unapologetic, the song charted at number one on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart and number seven on the UK Dance Chart.
“What Now” was released as the sixth single from the album in selected countries; it has peaked at number 21 and 13 in Australia and New Zealand respectively. The single also appeared on the singles charts of France, United Kingdom and Belgium. On August 29, 2013, a promotional digital remixes EP of “What Now” was released exclusively to Beatport. “What Now” officially impacted US rhythmic radio on September 24, 2013 and later impacted on Top 40/Mainstream radio on October 1, 2013. The song’s accompanying music video was released to VEVO on November 15, 2013.
“Jump” was issued to Australian radio on January 24, 2014 as the fifth single in Australia and seventh overall.
On November 14, Rihanna embarked on a seven-date promotional tour for Unapologetic titled the 777 Tour. She performed seven concerts in seven days, each in a different city in North America and Europe. Fans and members of the international press (150 journalists representing 82 countries) were invited aboard a chartered Boeing 777 twinjet to every venue. Beginning on November 14 in Mexico City, the tour visited Toronto (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden), Paris (France), Berlin (Germany), London (UK) and ended on November 20 in New York City (United States). On May 6, 2013, Fox aired a tour documentary, with a documentary DVD being released the following day.
Rihanna performed “Diamonds” and “Phresh Out the Runway” at the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on November 7, 2012, which aired on CBS on December 4, 2012. She performed “Diamonds” and a solo version of “Stay” on Saturday Night Live on November 10, 2012. On November 25, 2012, Rihanna performed “Diamonds” on The X Factor in the United Kingdom. On December 8, she performed the song on Wetten, dass..? (“Wanna bet that..?”) in Germany. On December 9, 2012, Rihanna performed “Stay” in a medley with her 2011 single “We Found Love” on the final of series nine of The X Factor UK. She also performed “Diamonds” on La Chanson de l’année (“The song of the Year”) in France, on December 10, 2012, which was broadcast on December 29, 2012. On December 18, 2012, the singer performed “Diamonds” on the season three finale of US The Voice.
During the 55th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2013, Rihanna performed “Could You Be Loved” alongside Bruno Mars, Sting, Damian Marley and Ziggy Marley as a tribute to Bob Marley. Rihanna performed for a second time at the award ceremony, where she performed her album’s second single “Stay” along with Mikky Ekko. In September 2013, she also performed on Channel 4’s Alan Carr: Chatty Man to promote “What Now“.
In the United States, Unapologetic debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 238,000 copies in its first week. It was Rihanna’s first number-one album in the US and the best-selling debut week of her career. In the same week, the album’s lead single “Diamonds” remained atop the Billboard Hot 100 for a second consecutive week. Consequently, Rihanna became the second artist of 2012 to top both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 simultaneously. The following week, the album fell to number six and sold 72,000 copies. On the issue dated March 11, 2013 (its fourteenth week on the chart), the album re-entered the Billboard 200 top five at number five, selling 28,000 that week. On April 16, 2013, Unapologetic was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of one million copies. On May 30, in its 27th consecutive week on the Billboard 200, Unapologetic passed the one million sales mark, selling at a faster rate than her previous album, Talk That Talk. With the feat, the album became her sixth album to sell at least one million copies. On July 3, 2013, Billboard mid-year sales reported that Unapologetic is the 16th best-selling album of 2013 thus far, selling 494,000 copies from January 1 to June 30, 2013. As of June 2015, Unapologetic has sold 1.2 million copies in the US.
In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, with sales of more than 99,000 copies in its first week. With the debut, it became Rihanna’s fourth album to reach the top spot in the UK and also her third consecutive chart topper, tying Madonna, Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones for the female artists with most consecutive UK number one albums. By May 2013, the album had sold 635,000 copies in the UK. It also reached number one in Switzerland and Norway. In Denmark, the album was certified gold by the IFPI Denmark, denoting shipments of 10,000 copies. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the album had sold over 2.3 million copies worldwide by February 2013, making it the eight best selling album of 2012.In France, Unapologetic has sold 240,000 copies as of May 2013. As of March 2015, Unapologetic has sold over four million copies worldwide.
To further promote the album, Rihanna went on her fifth concert tour: Diamonds World Tour. The tour visited the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia with 96 shows in total. The tour was met with praise from critics who noted artistic growth. Commercially, the tour was a success with extra dates being added due to high demand. Click here for details.
1. “Fresh Out the Runway”
3. “Numb” (ft. Eminem)
4. “Pour It Up”
5. “Loveeeeeee Song” (ft. Future)
7. “Right Now”
8. “What Now”
9. “Stay” (ft. Mikky Ekko)
10. “Nobodies Business” (ft. Chris Brown)
11. “Love Without Tragedy” / “Mother Mary”
12. “Get It Over With”
13. “No Love Allowed”
14. “Lost in Paradise”
15. “Half of Me” (Bonus Track)