The Weeknd has dropped out of performing on Rihanna’s Anti World Tour, and it has led to a lot of speculation. Some people are claiming that it’s because of poor ticket sales and others are saying that it’s because of professional differences. Billboard quotes the statement that announced the departure.
“Due to some unforeseen changes with upcoming projects, The Weeknd will no longer be joining Rihanna on her upcoming international Anti World Tour.”
The article claims that, according to a source, The Weeknd is more interested in promoting his new album. Travis Scott is currently opening Rihanna’s shows in America, and Drake also showed up for a live version of their No. 1 hit “Work.”
Rihanna’s Anti World Tour has received mixed reviews. Chris Pizzello of the Charlotte Observer believes that the show is definitely a disappointment.
“Her six-piece band and her three backup singers simply don’t chill out enough. ‘Desperado’ (off new CD ‘Anti’) was a muddled mess thanks to overbearing instrumentation, and the backing vocalists propped her up so much during ‘Same Ol’ Mistakes’ (also off of ‘Anti’) that it seemed like they should have been out front and she should been in back.”
However, Pizzello notes that when Rihanna is spot-on vocally, she certainly hits her stride, even if her voice doesn’t have the power of Adele’s or Demi Lovato’s.
The Guardian also notes that Rihanna can be a decent vocalist on her current tour.
“Rihanna has always compensated with showmanship and arresting charisma for shortcomings in technical vocal ability, but she’s charted improvement in that area and showed it in the few numbers performed without a backing track,” says critic Bryan Armen Graham.
After singing every night, it’s quite possible that Rihanna is also laughing at her critics, who declared Anti to be a flop right out of the gate. When released in early February, Anti was headed towards disaster. NME was one of the first outlets to talk about the poor performance of Rihanna’s latest album.
“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. Soon, 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. The song has been No. 1 for five weeks, and the Anti album has been outdoing all predections.
“Rihanna’s Anti moves back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, collecting its second week at the top. The diva’s set earned another 54,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 17, according to Nielsen Music,” writes Billboard’s Keith Caulfield.
It appears that those who want Rihanna to fall and flop hard will have to wait a little longer. Rihanna may not be at her peak, but she’s definitely still kicking.
[Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]