31-year-old singer and beauty guru Rihanna has been quiet about details about her upcoming and highly anticipated 9th album, besides dropping hints on social media and in interviews.
The 9-time Grammy winner released her last album, ANTI, back in 2016 and hasn’t released any new solo material since 2017. However, she’s been focusing on the beauty and fashion industries, as well as supporting her many philanthropic causes.
Here is what we know so far about Rihanna’s new album:
What will Rihanna’s album be called?
While sitting down with New York Times’ T Magazine recently, Rihanna revealed the possible title for the upcoming album. “So far it’s just been R9, thanks to the Navy,” she said. “I’m about to call it that probably, cause they have haunted me with this ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?’ How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?”
R9 has been the name fans have used to call the album ever since the release of “ANTI” since an official title has yet to be confirmed.
When will it be released?
Back in March, Rihanna’s best friend, Jennifer Rosales, teased that the album was completely finished when she took her baby son to see Aunt RiRi at the studio.
“When tia @badgirlriri gives you the first listen. #newmusic,” Rosales captioned.
Two months prior in January, Rihanna’s producer, The Dream, confirmed to New York Hip-Hop radio station, Hot 97, that her new album is almost finished. “She’s cooking, she’s about done,” he said. “She’s about done. Super close.”
The singer also teased a video of her in the studio recording new music.
— Rihanna News (@TeamOfRihanna) January 7, 2019
In December 2018, she confirmed the album will be released in 2019 when a fan asked, “But when is the album dropping Robyn? Can we have a release date for that?”
“2019,” Rihanna replied.
In August 2018, Rihanna teased fans with photos of herself appearing to be recording and around the time the photos were taken, she was rumored to be in the Caribbean due to personal and work commitments, starting the rumors that the album could have a reggae vibe.
During a June 2018 interview on The Graham Norton Show with her Ocean’s 8 castmates, Rihanna revealed that she’s currently working on new music saying, “I am actually in the studio at the moment.”
— . (@CammieColt) June 17, 2018
Reports surfaced in April 2018 that the Fenty Beauty founder is currently working on two albums – one full of “chart-friendly songs” and the other comprised of “moody and experimental tracks” – likely to release as a double-disc album.
What songs will be on the album?
No tracklist has yet to be confirmed, however, fans were convinced that Rihanna’s “Work” collaborator, PARTYNEXTDOOR, had shared a sneak peek at a new track between the two on Snapchat when he teased a song in March.
It was quickly denied that Rihanna was the female vocalist on the track.
In December, the “Love On the Brain” singer’s vocal producer, Kuk Harrell, described her upcoming studio album as “amazing,” and saying that “it’s incredible, and that’s all I’m going to say” while doing an InstagramLive.
In her June 2018 cover interview for Vogue, Rihanna confirmed her ninth album will be a reggae album and the record may be influenced by Jamaican0born producer Supa Dups.
In May 2017, Breathe Heavy noted the star had allegedly registered two new songs on ASCAP titled “Phatty” – a reggae-influenced song – and “Only One Who Knows.”
“Phatty” is reportedly penned by Rihanna and reggae artist Buju Banton. The singer was spotted heading to a recording studio in New York sporting a shirt with Banton’s face on the front, so it’s highly possible the two could be collaborating.
Earlier this year, “Louvre” was allegedly listed as a new single, but the report was later retracted by RiRi herself.
Who is featured on the album?
In February, a report claimed that Rihanna was spotted at a “business lunch” with Jay-Z and the pair were allegedly overheard talking about “music and what they can do together.” Jay-Z signed Rihanna back in 2004 and has collaborated with her on her singles “Umbrella” and “Talk That Talk” while she sang on his hit “Run This Town.”
Writing camps are reportedly underway for the new album, with artists like Chase & Status, Raye and Diplo all wanting a spot on “R9”. Despite recently revealing that Rihanna turned down his music, Diplo let the news slip during an interview with iHeartRadio.
“We talked a little bit because she’s writing a lot of new music right now for her next project and, hopefully, we can connect,” the hip-hop artist said.
Rihanna’s been spotted leaving recording studios in London, New York City, and Paris since releasing “ANTI.”
Breakthrough singer H.E.R. revealed she’s working on “secret projects” with Rihanna.
Rumors surfaced in June 2018 that Cardi B could potentially feature on Rihanna’s lead single for the new album after fans on Twitter allegedly claimed that a radio station in Dallas said the collaboration would drop in August.
What does the album artwork look like?
So far, no artwork for Rihanna’s ninth album has been released.
When does the tour start?
No tour dates have been confirmed as of yet. Rihanna’s last tour, The Anti World Tour, ran from March-November 2016 and included 75 shows across North America, Europe, and Asia.