Rihanna & Drake at the BRITs
There was a Page Six report earlier this week speculating that the real reason Rihanna bailed on the Grammys is because she saw the quality of the other performances and decided hers was sh-t and she was too embarrassed. Another Page Six source insists she really did have bronchitis. Sure. The problem I have with that theory is that I can't see Rihanna watching Johnny Depp and the Hollywood Vampires in rehearsal and saying to herself, f-ck, everyone is better than me and I don't want to be the worst. To me, it's entirely plausible that she got sick because she and her team have been scheduling her like amateurs.
But Lindsay Lohan had to ruin it for everyone so now every time someone is actually not feeling well, we assume they're spiralling out of control. Rihanna did not look out of control last night at the BRITs. Her set design was sharp. The lighting was especially well done. And while her voice wasn't at its strongest, she seemed relaxed, comfortable, particularly during Consideration, having a good time. Then Drake came out and they did their rub and grind thing and it was cute and fun and ...in progress. Meaning you can tell she's been rehearsing for the tour and she's clearly getting more and more familiar with the feel of presenting the album live but it's definitely not there yet. Which of course is why the tour has been pushed back two weeks. So now she has two weeks to get it down, and not just for two songs either. This is an entire show, minimum 15 tracks.
Where Rihanna is concerned though, it's pointless to draw the Beyoncé level of preparation comparison. Perfection has never been Rihanna's vibe. I just remembered now, on the way to the airport, the 777 Tour. Remember how messy it was on the 777 Tour? When she flew around the world in 7 days with the press and the chaos with reporters feeling trapped on the plane complaining about how disorganised it all was? In the end she came around and did shots with all of them and it was supposed to make it better. Click here and click here for a refresher. Back to back album releases, back to back wildly unpredictable and disorganised…
My album will come out when it comes out, whatever. It leaked, whatever. Sh-t, I need another two weeks to prep for the tour, whatever. Maybe being scheduled like an amateur is Rihanna’s brand?
This dress on the red carpet, though… definitely not her brand. It’s Armani Prive. It matches her eye shadow. I don’t think it fits properly. And I’m not sure it fit her personality.
Karwai Tang/ Dave J Hogan/ Ian Gavan/ Getty Images