There are many reasons to love Rihanna, as both an artist and a spiritual presence that has adopted the form of a human. The Barbadian star has been releasing albums and making music videos for over a decade now – each of them timeless and influential in their own way, and all of them selling millions. During this period, she has gradually transformed from "pop star" into straight up music icon; the kind that sets trends as quickly as she breaks them, and whose picture will be mounted next to the likes of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston in the future music hall of fame.
The reason there are so many reasons to love Rihanna is because there is no singular Rihanna. There are multiple Rihannas. There are "slapping your vagina on stage" Rihannas and "nice pic of me and my dad" Rihannas. There are collaborating with Paul McCartney Rihannas and touring with Eminem Rihannas. There are Rihannas who shoot their own magazine covers and Rihannas who set a child's drawing of their face as their Instagram icon. The Rihanna of the past is not the Rihanna of the present or the future. Sometimes, it's as if there are parallel Rihannas, in parallel universes, who are all being simultaneously viewed through the kaleidoscope of infinite time. So, to get some sort of scientific grasp of all this, we decided to definitively rank all the Rihanna personas in all their shades of brilliance.
A mammoth task, to be sure. But to make sure this list had a definitive order and end, like the conceptual inversion of The Life of Pablo, we decided only to analyse Rihannas who have appeared on more than one occasion, and in more than one space in time. For instance, we didn't count "dexterous with umbrellas Rihanna" because that was a brief blip on the timeline. As for our ranking system, everything is itemised in order of most to fewest fucks given.