In 2010, singer Rihanna was a tabloid fixation thanks to a very public domestic violence incident with R&B singer Chris Brown. In the aftermath, rapper Eminem tapped her as the guest vocalist on a song about – of all things – abusive relationships. As Rihanna said, though, it was something that she and Eminem “both experienced…on different sides…It was believable for us to do a record like that…He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence.” SF
As BBC Radio 1 said, Eminem “understands the psychology well, and can express the feelings with enormous clarity.” WK Billboard’s Michael Menachem added that, “Rihanna’s chorus is exquisitely melodic and surprisingly hopeful, complementing the turmoil of Eminem’s dark, introspective rant.” WK
Em’s rant and Rihanna’s chorus went all the way to #1, the fourth time for him and seventh for her. Since then, she’s graced the top of the Billboard Hot 100 three more times, making her the youngest artist (23) in the chart’s history to land ten songs in the peak position.
The video featured actors Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox in a love-hate relationship. It broke YouTube’s record for most hits in 24 hours with 6.6 million logged 18 million views in five days. Within a year, it had been seen 360 million times. WK
The song was named Song of the Year by Dave’s Music Database and is in the DMDB list of the top 100 songs of the 21st century. It is also one of the top 100 best-selling songs in the world. Among other honors and awards – it was the United Kingdom’s best-selling single of 2010 and won awards as Billboard’s Top Rap Song, Soul Train’s Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year, and People’s Choice awards for Favorite Song and Favorite Music Video. The song was also nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Rap Song.
Resources and Related Links:
- Eminem’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- Rihanna’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- IN Rihanna: Youngest Artist to Ever Reach Ten #1 Hits by James Johnson (4/21/11)
- SF Songfacts.com
- WK Wikipedia.org