Rihanna’s Best Songs: A Look at Her Number One Hits

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Rihanna’s extraordinary talent has left an indelible mark on the world of music and entertainment. With a career spanning nearly two decades, she has not only achieved chart-topping success but has established herself as a cultural phenomenon.

A Pop Diva Is Born

Rihanna’s meteoric rise began in 2005 with her debut single “Pon de Replay,” which marked the beginning of an illustrious career that would soon be defined by her distinct voice, genre-spanning versatility, and fearless approach to artistic evolution — and of course, the unforgettable videos and fashion that accompanied them.

Over the years, she has consistently delivered chart-topping hits, showcasing her remarkable ability to adapt and experiment with various musical styles, from R&B and pop to dancehall and reggae.

A defining aspect of Rihanna’s unparalleled success has been her remarkable string of number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. These chart-toppers, often characterized by their catchy melodies and infectious hooks, have not only dominated the airwaves but also earned her critical acclaim and numerous awards. Her successful hits are a testament to her enduring relevance and the deep connection she shares with her audience.

Rihanna: Super Bowl Headliner

Rihanna’s fans internationally debated which of her treasure trove of songs would be chosen for the presentation when she was called upon in 2023 to headline the Super Bowl. With only a dozen minutes to get her musical message across, the pop singer came through with flare and style, selecting some of the most iconic and beloved songs from her massive catalog of hits.

By the end, Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance proved that her impact transcends the realm of music. Her influence today extends to the world of fashion, activism, and social justice, making her a trailblazer in and out of the recording studio.

Rihanna’s Number One Hits

In this exploration of Rihanna’s career and impact, we will delve into her remarkable number one hits — each of which has contributed to her status as one of the most influential and beloved artists of our time — and examine how she continues to shape the world’s cultural landscape.

  • “SOS” (2006) – Rihanna’s first number one hit in the United States marked her arrival on the music scene. It was to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with Billboard.

  • “Umbrella” featuring Jay-Z (2007) – “Umbrella” became a massive hit and is arguably one of Rihanna’s most beloved songs. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

  • “Take a Bow” (2008) – Proving that she could take a power pop ballad and make it all her own, this song also showcased Rihanna’s vocal range and skills as a songwriter.

  • “Disturbia” (2008) – This was the first song in which the pop star went deeper and darker than she ever had before. With its catchy hook and dark undertones, “Disturbia” was another chart-topper for Rihanna.

  • “Live Your Life” with T.I. (2008) – Released on rapper T.I.’s sixth studio album Paper Trail, Rihanna proved her prowess again with guest-starring vocals that took this song to the top of the chart for six weeks.

  • “Rude Boy” (2010) – Reminding everyone of her Caribbean roots, this dancehall-infused track was a major hit and showcased Rihanna’s versatility.

  • “Love the Way You Lie” with Eminem (2010) – Pairing up with hip hop royalty Eminem, Rihanna’s powerful vocals on the chorus contributed significantly to its success and sparked a dialogue about violence.

  • “What’s My Name?” featuring Drake (2010) – Rihanna is no stranger to collaborations, and this duet with Drake was a chart-topper with massive appeal worldwide. The chemistry between the two artists is unmistakable, further elevating her status as a seasoned performer.

  • “Only Girl (In the World)” (2010) – Her fans love it when she takes them to the dancefloor and on this uptempo dance-pop anthem, Rihanna earned another number one hit that was well-received for its euphoric sound.

  • “S&M” (2011) – Charged with provocative lyrics and a video to match, “S&M” also reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and showed a sexier side to the pop star than fans had ever seen before.

  • “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris (2011) – The EDM world fell in love with Rihanna when she teamed up with Calvin Harris for this massive international hit that also nabbed a Grammy Award. It’s often regarded as one of Rihanna’s best tracks ever.

  • “Diamonds” (2012) –  Now considered one of her signature songs, “Diamonds” showcased Rihanna’s vocal swagger and instantly became a global chart-topper.

  • “The Monster” by Eminem with Rihanna (2013) – Released as a single for Eminem’s eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2,  it reached number one in December of 2013 and remained at the top of the charts for a total of four weeks.

  • “Work” featuring Drake (2016) – The two global superstars teamed up again for this reggae-infused song, solidifying their chemistry once again.

With the single “Work” going to #1, Rihanna officially surpassed The King Of Pop Michael Jackson’s record, as she achieved her 14th chart-topping song. Presently, Rihanna holds the position of having the fourth-highest number of number one songs in history, following only Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey, and The Beatles.

Rihanna Songs and Her Musical Impact

In the ever-evolving music industry, Rihanna stands as a true juggernaut. With her extraordinary talent, fan devotion, fearless innovation, and a discography that spans multiple genres, she has consistently topped the charts and redefined what it means to be a global superstar. By taking risks and daring to change the blueprint to success in the industry, she has paved the way for other artists.

Rihanna’s remarkable ability to connect with her audience, her record-breaking number of chart-topping hits, and her influence on cultural conversations far beyond music makes her an iconic figure. Her legacy extends well beyond the confines of the recording studio, as she continues to shape the future of music and inspire generations to come. Rihanna’s reign as a musical force remains unchallenged, solidifying her place in history as an artist who transcends boundaries and continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of music and entertainment.