Black Music Month Spotlight: Ester Dean

June 7, 2019  |  
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Rude Boy– Rihanna

The first time I ever heard Ester Dean’s name it was mentioned in conjunction with Rihanna. Dean is a bad girl mostly because she’s written a good handful of Rihanna’s hits.

“Rude Boy” was written by a lot of people including Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Hermansen, Ester Dean, another talented and accomplished female songwriter Makeba Riddick, Rob Wire and Rihanna. Ester Dean is credited with coming up with the concept of the song and worked with Stargate, the production team, to develop it. Dean, in an interview with The Boom Box said she wanted to channel Rihanna’s alter ego with the sexually suggestive lyrics and praised Rih Rih for being willing to go there. “I think Rihanna is sexy and will say things that other chicks won’t say. Even if she says let’s go kiss some girls, who really cares…that’s Rihanna. Music is about fantasy. This is what people want to do, but are afraid to do.”

Maybe Dean is right. After debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 at 64, in just a month it was number one. The song stayed there for five weeks and was certified two-times platinum. And then of course the video, directed by Melina Matsoukaswas equally amazing.

Dean is also the writer and sometimes producer behind some of Rihanna’s other big hits like “What’s My Name,” “Where Have You Been,” “Talk That Talk,” and “You da One”

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