Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rihanna: Fiercely Introspective

I read an article written in the New York times today that discusses Rihanna's new Album "Rated R". For those who stay in tuned with music gossip (who doesn't these days), Rihanna went through a traumatic experience with her boyfriend at the time, Chris Brown. The perfect, young, hip hop couple's image was destroyed after Chris Brown violently turned on Rihanna. That event was followed by a brief, but not lasting, rekindling of their romance. "Rated R" is a reflection of Rihanna's feelings and emotions at that dark time in her life, and her feelings on how she feels as a person today. The album is much edgier, and it is clear that Rihanna has taken a step in a different direction when it comes to her image.

This brings me to the main point. Image. I think it is very important to remember how powerful of a marketing tool image is for a musician or band. Their image can define who they are. Just their look can send numerous messages to their audience. Rihanna started out as a young teen singing pop music. With her in shape body and exotic look, it was easy for her to be the sweet pop star who was breaking into american music. Now, several years after making her presence known, she has gone from sweet innocent pop star, to a fashion setter with attitude, to a edgier "badass" who isn't afraid to push musical boundaries based off her personal life. Stars like Rihanna have a strong following, and for the most part, very loyal fans. It is risky for someone in the spotlight to change their image, because there is always that risk of losing a group of fans, but there is also the possibility of reaching out to new ones. However, the reasoning behind the change is what can really make or break your fan base. Rihanna's story is well known, and most people saw her as a victim. Her change is more accepted than someone like Britney Spears. Rihanna is using her experiences as a reflection off her image, which is going to help her sell herself as well as her music to the public.

Lyndsie Klott

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