As last night’s winner of the first-ever 2013 AMA Music Icon Award, 25-year old Rihanna certainly has a prolific career.
She’s regarded as a strong contender for the title of Queen of Pop by many, her “Give No Fucks” internet attitude has endeared her to fans, and it’s clear that even with seven full albums under her belt, Rihanna is still going strong.
Though I can’t honestly say I’m a steadfast fan of all of her music (she tends to have fantastic singles but much of the rest of her songs, I can do without), Rihanna is definitely a musical icon. Here are my picks for her top 10 songs of all time:
1. Umbrella (feat. Jay-Z) – Good Girl Gone Bad
Because when the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be your friend
Took an oath, Imma stick it out to the end
The track that shot Rihanna up to fame, “Umbrella” (ella ella) still holds up six years later as a highly memorable piece of music. The lyrics speak of a supportive and strong relationship, that will hold up rain or shine.
2. Pour It Up – Unapologetic
Strip clubs and dollar bills, I still got more money
Patron shots can I get a refill? I still got more money
Strippers goin’ up and down that pole, and I still got more money
Four o’clock and we ain’t going home, cause I still got more money
This is one of those unapologetically (ha, see what I did there) repetitive, flashy, “look how much cash I have in all the pockets of my three thousand dollar jeans” songs, and I absolutely love it, in part because of Rihanna’s aforementioned “Give No Fucks” attitude in the track. Yes, she’s rich, and yes she’s going to flaunt it. Plus, the strip club-esque beat in this one is ridiculously fun.
3.Unfaithful – A Girl Like Me
He’s more than a man
And this is more than love
The reason that the sky is blue
The clouds are rolling in
Because I’m gone again
And to him I just can’t be true
A cheating song from the perspective of the person who’s doing the cheating, “Unfaithful” is notable due to that beautiful piano riff and Rihanna’s mournful vocals.
4. Talk That Talk (feat. Jay-Z) – Talk That Talk
One and two and a three and four
Come on let me know if you want some more
You know what I like, now get right
Boy talk that talk to me all night
This upbeat dance track makes it onto the top Rihanna songs list because of its catchiness and singalongability. Is that a word? Ehh it is now.
5. Rude Boy – Rated R
Tonight Imma give it to ya harder
Tonight Imma turn ya body out
Relax, let me do it how I wanna
If you got it I need it and Imma put it down
“Come here rude boy boy, can you get it up” happens to be one of my friend’s go-to quotes when she wants to “subtly” indicate that she finds a guy near us attractive. This is not recommended behavior, because generally speaking, asking if someone is able to get it up does not make for a fantastic first impression. Rihanna manages to pull it off to make a great pop song, though.
6. Rehab – Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded
Baby, baby, when we first met
I never felt something so strong
You were like my lover and my best friend
All wrapped into one, with a ribbon on it
Justin Timberlake is like smoking hot in this music video. Which is totally irrelevant to why this song is good, but is still a fact of life.
7. What’s My Name? (feat. Drake) – Loud
Not everybody knows how to work my body
Knows how to make me want it
But boy you stay up on it
You got that something that keeps me so off balance
Baby, you’re a challenge, let’s explore your talent
“What’s My Name” gets a bad rap because of the “Rihanna/Robyn doesn’t even know her own name hahaha” joke (which is both unfunny and unoriginal, and if you’ve cracked this joke before you should probably look at your life, look at your choices) but in my opinion it’s a nice song about a booty call. It even makes Drake bearable for me, if only for the part where he says “what’s the square root of 69? Ate something, right?”
8. Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko) – Unapologetic
Funny you’re the broken one
But I’m the only one who needed saving
Cause when you never see the light
It’s hard to know which one of us is caving
Rihanna and Mikky Ekko sound absolutely gorgeous in this pensive, heartbreaking, melancholy track. It never fails to get me in a mopey mood – which probably means I shouldn’t listen to it. I still do. You can’t stop me.
9. Pon de Replay – Music Of The Sun
Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won’t you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dancefloor wantin some more what
Come Mr. DJ won’t you turn the music up
This song was the bane of my existence on Kinect’s Dance Central. I literally spent an entire week trying to master it on Hard Mode. Regardless, I still love the song; it transports me back to those good old awkward days at high school dances where I tried to work up the nerve to bust a move in public. Ahh, youth.
10. Take A Bow – Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded
You look so dumb right now
Standing outside my house
Trying to apologize, you’re so ugly when you cry, please
Just cut it out
An empowering break-up anthem, “Take A Bow” invites us to give Rihanna’s ex a standing ovation for his horrible acting skills in pretending he’s sorry when he’s not, he’s only sorry he got caught. He even wins an award for best liar! Girl is ice cold in this track, which is why I love it so much.
What are your picks for top Rihanna songs? Drop a line in the comments!