Comparisons with Beyonce just won’t stop following Rihanna no matter how much fame and fortune separate the two entertainers. But from the way Rihanna sees things, she’s in her own lane and there’s no need for her to watch Beyonce’s throne.
She recently told Look magazine:
“There’s nobody really in my league. But there’s competition everywhere. The whole music industry is competition. There are people who like other artists, those who like me and others who like both. Beyonce is a great artist and I feel honored to be mentioned in the same sentence, but we’re different performers with different styles.”
Rihanna’s response is pretty on point. There really isn’t anyone in her league, mostly because there aren’t too many artists in the league at all. You could count the pop/R&B artists that are actually consistently relevant today on one hand and still have fingers left over. Beyonce and Rihanna are pretty much in their own lanes with a sea of has-beens or wannabes surrounding them, while staples like Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and Janet Jackson put out albums every couple of years just because they still love the craft. On the sidelines are singers like Chrisette Michlle and Jazmine Sullivan who get overlooked.
So while I don’t think Rih Rih should get too cocky about standing out against no one, in 2011 she did become the fastest growing artist to snag 20 top 10 hits. Just recently, Nielsen also recognized her as the highest selling digital artist of all time, selling over 47 million records through digital downloads—and that doesn’t even include the songs she was featured on. The girl is doing something right coming out with an album every year and bringing in some of the highest earnings for women in music. So maybe what Rihanna told Look magazine is true: There’s competition all around, but she’s not seeing it.
What do you think about what Rihanna said? Is she truly in a league of her own?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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