Rihanna’s campaign for Anti has been a roller coaster. The album was delayed for months after singles such as “B***h Better Have My Money” and “American Oxygen” bombed. Rihanna appeared to be going in the direction of Mariah Carey and Britney Spears — legendary stars, but past their commercial primes. These two, and legends such as Janet Jackson and Madonna, just don’t sell records anymore. Let’s just say that it was a tough call, but excellent marketing has helped Anti turn Rihanna back to relevancy.
“But industry figures have suggested that physical copies of the record haven’t been selling quite as well. The New York Times reports that chart figures service Nielsen says the album sold less than 1,000 copies in the US. A subscriber to the service who wished to remain anonymous said the specific figure was actually 460.”
However, by the next week, Anti sold a satisfactory 175,000 album equivalent units (including streaming) and hit No. 1. Still, Rihanna didn’t silence her critics. Then, reports of cancelled and postponed concert dates appeared everywhere, including the Guardian and the Sun, which took joy in the fact that Rihanna had to cancel two concert dates in the UK.
Then, Rihanna released the single “Work” featuring Drake. As Billboard describes, the song has been No. 1 for five weeks.
“As on the Hot 100, ‘Work,’ released on Westbury Road/Roc Nation, spends a fifth week atop the Streaming Songs chart with 34 million U.S. streams, down 3 percent, in the week ending March 17, according to Nielsen Music. The collab also tops the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart (15.3 million, down 6 percent) for a sixth frame.”
Billboard adds that “Work” holds at No. 3 on the Radio Songs chart and dips 3-4 on the Digital Songs chart. It’s possible that “Work” can be No. 1 for a couple more weeks. Even if it doesn’t, Rihanna can be satisfied about the fact her album Anti returns to No. 1.
The article notes that Anti is actually the first album by Rihanna to hold at No. 1 for more than one week. Rihanna is certainly getting the last laugh now at all the critics who said her career was dead and that Anti was a big flop. She also is having a laugh about the alleged “beef” with Beyoncé. CNN International has the news.
“Here’s the deal. They just get so excited to feast on something that’s negative. Something that’s competitive. Something that’s, you know, a rivalry. And that’s just not what I wake up to. Because I can only do me. And nobody else is going to be able to do that.”
Rihanna adds that she is very much bored with music’s pop formula. She said that with Anti, she just gravitated towards the songs that were honest to where she is right now. Thankfully, it appears to be working. While many people are claiming the only reason Rihanna is at No. 1 is because of Drake, they can never underestimate her power to create ear-loving music, eye-catching videos, and fun interviews. It’s likely that Rihanna will be around several years to come.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]