Believe it or not, Rihanna just notched her 13th chart-topper. With her collaboration with Eminem on “The Monster,” the Bajan singer now ties Michael Jackson on the all-time list. Insane, right? Personally, singing just the hook on predominantly rap songs seems like cheating, but if it’s okay with Billboard, it’s fine with me. Even if you take away her rap collabos, she still has ten chart-toppers which is still quite impressive given her age.
Prior to placing third with MJ on the all-time list, she previously was in a three-way tie with Madonna and the Supremes for the fourth-most. Holding the record for most No. 1′s in Billboard’s 54-year history are The Beatles with 20 chart leaders. Mariah Carey with 18 is in the runner-up slot.
While Rihanna doesn’t sell as many albums as a few of her compatriots, there is no denying she’s a hit-making machine. Rihanna is definitely the poster child of today’s music landscape. With digital downloads making singles both affordable and easy to purchase, it’s all about singles these days and not so much about the album. All you need is a couple of hit singles and fill up the rest of the album with filler.
Very few artists these days carefully put out well-thought albums with great concepts and attention to the fluidity from track to track. Enough of me sounding like an old man reminiscing about the good old days, let’s check out all of Rihanna’s chart toppers. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of the post to see my ranking of all her hits.
No matter what she releases in future years, I guarantee this will most likely remain my least favorite among her rap collaborations and discography as a whole. There’s just something about it that I don’t connect with. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this.
Album: The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Truth be told, when I first ranked her singles, “Diamonds” was one of my least favorites. The “shine bright like a diamond” during the chorus really annoyed me. Eventually though, I came around on the Sia-penned track. It was hard not to given it was practically inescapable. From the clubs to the grocery store, it was everywhere.
Album: Talk That Talk
Love that she collaborated with EDM maestro Calvin Harris on this track. It gave her fans a different sound not previously heard from her before. Pure genius to cast an on-screen boyfriend to resemble her ex, Chris Brown. Nothing drums up sales like a bit of controversy.
When Loud album first leaked, “S&M” was one of my instant favorites. Too bad, the video didn’t measure up. It was a bit cliché and blatantly ripped of David LaChapelle’s signature style. Plus it featured Perez Hilton in the video. Can we please send him on a one-way flight to the Bermuda Triangle along with Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton?
OOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGG. Word’s cannot express how much I love this song. Definitely one of my favorites from her discography. The “oh, na, na, na” part is so catchy. I also like the fact she incorporates a reggae vibe to represent her homeland. Keepin’ it real. Anytime she collaborates with Drake, it’s pure magic. “Take Care” is another fantastic collabo.
At first, I wasn’t a fan of this song. Then I saw a drag queen perform it and instantly I became hooked. How hilarious is that? A lot of people don’t like this video, but I do. I appreciate that fact the clip is all about her looking sexy and happy once again. At long last, her depressing Rated R days were finally behind her.
Album: Recovery (Eminem album)
This is one of three tracks that predominantly feature another artist with Rihanna just singing the chorus. Some say it’s not fair she gets credit for these No. 1s. Admit it though, without her vocals on these tracks, they wouldn’t be as powerful. Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan fighting in the video wouldn’t resonate the same emotional impact.
Album: Rated R
IMHO, this is the only gem during her dark and somber Rated R era. Like “What’s My Name“, I love the dancehall vibe of this track. When RiRi shakes those hips, she can give Shakira’s non-lying hips a run for their money.
Album: Good Girl Gone Bad
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this was the first time we saw Rihanna go edgy for a video. That risk paid in dividends. She no longer was that R&B chick and became a bonafide pop star. It was her best selling single with over 4.3 million units sold, until “We Found Love” came along with 4.6+ million. Fun fact, I rock the “Disturbia” dance routine on XBox Kinect’s “Dance Central”. No flash cards needed. How ya like me now? LOL.
Album: Paper Trail (T.I. album)
Here’s the third chart topper with Rihanna, in essence, being just a guest star. Once again, Rihanna’s vocals on the chorus make the song. No offense T.I.
Album: Good Girl Gone Bad
Her sole ballad to top Billboard’s Hot 100. Such a beautiful song. That being said, the Seamus Haji dance remix of “Take A Bow” kills. That version had me party rockin’ that entire summer.
Album: Good Girl Gone Bad
This song was such a huge hit that summer, multiple covers from famous and not-so-famous people kept popping up on YouTube. Mandy Moore’s stripped down version was a favorite, along with Chris Brown’s , “You Can Be My Cinderella” version. Obviously his version didn’t end up happily ever after ;) The song was a global hit and earned her multiple Grammy nominations. Did you know there was a Rihanna Curse? Several countries blamed the song for their nation’s unusual weather. LOL.
Album: A Girl Like Me
It was Rihanna’s first ever No. 1. Instead of signaling for help, it signaled the beginning of Rihanna’s domination of the Hot 100. I completely forgot about this song until doing this post. Man, this track brings me back to that summer. I must’ve heard it 1,000 times at the clubs and in my car that year. Good times.
Not going to lie. I absolutely love “What’s My Name“, but feared if I ranked it at the top of my list, I’d start a riot. There’s just something about that track that I just can’t get out of my head. Check out my list below and see if you agree with my order. If you disagree, I’d like to know how you’d rank them.
Obviously, Rihanna’s singles can’t always reign supreme on the chart. There are several gems that just fell short and deserve recognition. It was a tough choice to chose just one to highlight since I have a few favorites. “Pon de Replay” was a contender since it’s the single that launched her career and it gave me an opportunity to interview her back in the day. Then, there’s her underrated duet with Ne-Yo on “Hate That I Love“. Still love that song. There’s also her wicked duet, “Stay,” with Mikky Ekko. In the end, I chose the following because who doesn’t love a good cross-promotion with a chip company. Plus it features David Guetta. Double win.
Now that you’ve seen my ranking of Rihanna’s No. 1s, how would you rate them? Post your rankings below.