Rihanna at the 50th GRAMMY Awards in 2008
Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images
Rihanna: 5 ways 'Good Girl Gone Bad' was a RiRi revolution
We've gotten used to RiRi dominating the charts, the fashion world and the pop culture zeitgeist. She's an eight-time GRAMMY winner who has earned distinction as the artist with the most digital single sales in RIAA history.
It's hard to fathom that a mere 10 years ago, Rihanna was still a long-haired good girl about to take a turn. With the release of 2007's Good Girl Gone Bad, and a new short hairdo to match, Rihanna ultimately helped meet her stated goal of becoming the "black Madonna."
As the 10th anniversary of Good Girl Gone Bad is upon us, take a look back at five reasons Rihanna's groundbreaking third studio album helped turn her into a bona fide pop sensation and unmistakable trendsetter.
Transition to entertainment icon
Beginning with Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna chopped her long, curly hair into a fierce short bob. She adopted a more provocative look, beginning a fashion evolution that would lead her to style icon status on the GRAMMY red carpet, at the Met Gala and beyond. This fashion change was also reflected in her music, which went from primarily Caribbean-inspired jams to pop, dancehall and R&B-infused tracks built to make you move. "I basically took the attitude of the bad girl and I really got rebellious and just did everything the way I wanted to do it," Rihanna told The StarPhoenix in 2007. "I just want to have a little more fun with my music and be a little more experimental in terms of my image and my sound. I just reinvented myself."
Landing the perfect song
Who didn't get "'ella, 'ella, 'ella" stuck in their head after hearing the chart-topping smash "Umbrella"? The catchy repetitive chorus of the song became a defining moment for Rihanna, yet she almost didn't record the song. According to GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter Chris "Tricky" Stewart, he and co-producer The-Dream shopped the song to Britney Spears' camp first. When her label passed, they presented the record to Mary J. Blige next, who didn't have a chance to hear the tune before L.A. Reid at Def Jam procured it for Rihanna. When the team first heard those famous ''ellas" in the studio, they knew the song was right as rain for RiRi.
First international tour
Having promoted her first two albums with tours in North America, Rihanna took Good Girl … international, marking her first headlining world tour. She visited venues across Europe, North America, Oceania, Asia, and Africa. But the tour wasn't without a bit of controversy. Malaysian officials weren't thrilled with this good girl's provocative "gone bad" look and sultry performance moves. Rihanna agreed to follow local regulations, but postponed her original performance date in the country.
Three releases are a charm
Befitting its mega mark on pop culture, Good Girl Gone Bad has been released a total of three times. First, the original five-time platinum album was released on June 5, 2007, spawning five singles, all of which reached multiplatinum status: "Umbrella," "Shut Up And Drive," "Hate That I Love You," "Don't Stop The Music," and "Rehab." This was followed by 2008's Good Girl … Reloaded, which featured additional tracks such as "Take A Bow" and "Disturbia," and then again with … The Remixes in early 2009. Both "Take A Bow" and "Disturbia" rocketed to No. 1, and the latter earned a GRAMMY nomination for 2008 for Best Dance Recording.
First GRAMMY win
As the first single released from Good Girl Gone Bad, "Umbrella" not only created the perfect storm — staying at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks — it netted RiRi her first GRAMMY. At the 50th GRAMMY Awards in 2008, Rihanna earned four total nominations, including two for "Umbrella": Record Of The Year and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. She ultimately won for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration alongside Jay Z. Rihanna also performed "Umbrella" and "Don't Stop The Music" at the milestone 50th GRAMMYs, marking her stage debut on Music's Biggest Night.