Since appearing in the limelight at the age of 16 with her unforgettable Pon De Replay video, Rihanna has been dominating the music world as the second most successful female artist ever. Although her appearance and music has changed over the decade, one thing has remained the same – her ability to make a hit record and an iconic music video to go with it.
So, if you love this superstar as much as we do, take a trip down memory lane with us to revisit Rihanna’s best music videos of all time…
15. Can’t Remember to Forget You (2014)
We all know by now that Rihanna loves to turn up the heat! In her Can’t Remember to Forget You video clip, RiRi joins Shakira and gets up, close, and personal. The dreamy duo take “hot” to a whole new level in the visual that will probably make you want to cover your eyes – it’s that steamy!
14. Love the Way You Lie (2010)
As if Rihanna’s history with Chris Brown isn’t controversial enough, she goes and features in this super-heated clip with Eminem. The Love the Way You Lie video highlights the impact of being in a tumultuous relationship. With its scenes of domestic violence and keeping Rihanna’s past with Chris Brown in mind, there’s no surprise this music video is quite disturbing and upsetting to some. Still, it’s a memorable clip that goes down as a classic – it’s even ranked as her second most-viewed video on YouTube (after This is What You Came For)!
13. Only Girl (In the World) (2010)
Well hello there, red-head RiRi! Ah, the great Loud era…The Only Girl clip is one of our favorite Rihanna videos simply for its effortlessness. The artistic video is uncomplicated compared to the singer’s other clips, and that’s why we love it. RiRi doesn’t do much but stroll through a flower field, making her the only girl for miles on end – who knew loneliness would be so fun? With a strong firework finish, this visual is utterly perfect for the pop anthem.
12. Disturbia (2007)
If the aim of this clip is to disturb us, it’s sure as heck succeeded in that! From the moment it begins, this captivating video gives us the creeps – but we can’t stop watching! The Disturbia visual takes place in a chamber with electric chairs in sight, accompanied by jittery scenes to create the overall horror effect. Rihanna gets possessed by a demon and is chained to a chair, making us a little afraid, but intrigued to see how it all ends.
11. Pon De Replay (2005)
A baby-faced RiRi captures us with her Barbadian dance moves and casual vibes in her very first music video, Pon De Replay. Set in a club, we see Rihanna on the podium showing off her best dance skills and generally having a good time. It was obvious from the get-go that this young lady was about to become a major star.
10. S&M (2011)
This raunchy video which was banned in over 11 countries is still one of RiRi’s greatest pieces of work. The Fenty Beauty star pushes boundaries with a progressive video exploiting sexuality with scenes filled with sadomasochist acts and fetishes, sending shockwaves throughout the music industry. From being wrapped in a newspaper dress with derogatory words on it, while being hounded by the press, to tying the paps up and spanking them with a whip, this clip definitely puts the bad in BadGalRiRi!
9. Rude Boy (2010)
Forget Miley Cyrus, it’s this Bajan beauty who introduced the world to twerking! Rude Boy is probably the first visual that showcases a spicier side to the ANTI singer. The creative clip which earned a MTV Video Music Awards nomination for Best Editing features images inspired by Andy Warhol, incredible vibrant animations and raunchy dance moves that have been copied in nightclubs across the globe.
8. Pour It Up (2012)
Let’s just say Rihanna isn’t afraid to get down and dirty in front of the cameras. This music video is so explicit, even mature adults should cover their eyes! RiRi pushes boundaries again with her raunchy Pour It Up video which, despite being criticized for being too explicit, is a great hit for fans. The clip sees Rihanna and other women dancing on poles and twerking on water with dollar bills flying everywhere, imitating a stripper culture. What more do we expect from a song about strip-clubs and dollar bills, right?
7. Man Down (2011)
Rihanna tackled themes of domestic abuse in her music video for Man Down, only two years after she was notoriously abused by Chris Brown. The haunting clip tells the story of personal assault and Rihanna getting her payback by shooting the man in broad daylight. Shot in Jamaica, the video captures the culture and highlights important issues that women face such as sexual abuse and domestic violence. Although this video clip raised eyebrows, it still remains a classic.
Want more from RihRih? See Rihanna’s relationship history in full!
6. Needed Me (2016)
Not only does Rihanna openly smoke marijuana and bare it all in her music video for Needed Me, she once again kills someone in a pretty graphic scene. Shooting her ex-boyfriend a staggering three times, RiRi clearly doesn’t care what the critics might say about this video clip! Well, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Didn’t she tell us that she was a savage?
5. What’s My Name (2010)
No scenes that’ll drop jaws, no explicit content, and no outrageous scenes insight. The What’s My Name video leans towards the boring side of RiRi, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love it. It’s perhaps the pure innocence that makes us swoon over it. This top video features the dynamic duo that is Drake and Rihanna and is probably the closest we’ll get to seeing them as a couple. It showcases the love the pair once shared and makes us hope that one day this act will become the real deal once more.
4. Umbrella (2008)
If there’s a Rihanna music video that got the people talking, it was this one – not for its controversy, but for being a downright classic. This video was the debut of a newborn Rihanna with a pixie cut and sexy outfit. Although the popstar spends most of it dancing with an umbrella, the simplicity keeps us engaged and makes us wish we could make dancing with an umbrella look that cool. Needless to say, it won the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year in 2007.
3. BBHMM (2015)
You might want to think twice about owing someone money after watching this video – AKA a mini-film. BBHMM is without a doubt, Rihanna’s most controversial moment – and video yet. The visual sees the Bajan beauty get high, violent, bloody and naked as she seeks revenge on the accountant who stole her money. Hell breaks loose as Rih kidnaps and tortures a woman, parties on a boat and commits a murder (yes, really!). Although artistic, this clip has been slammed for its nudity and violence. Still, it’s a masterpiece that’ll go down in history…
2. We Found Love (2011)
This beautiful video captures the true essence of a toxic relationship as we see Rihanna and her co-star get super passionate yet torn apart when that love and relationship is no longer there. The jaw-dropping clip portrays a reckless Rihanna abusing drugs, thrill-seeking and engaging in a violent relationship, almost alluding to her affair with Chris Brown. It left many shell-shocked and was even deemed “a disgrace”, by anti-rape campaigners, but it also earned a Grammy Award for Best Short-Form Music Video in 2012.
1. Work (2016)
By the time this video was released, we were pretty much used to seeing RiRi leave little to the imagination. This music video recorded in a nightclub sees Rihanna bumping and grinding (mostly on Drake) to her hit single. In a series of scenes that leave you blushing, the video oozes summery vibes as everyone dances to the dancehall track in their hottest outfits. What’s more, we get to see a bit more of the Drizzy-RiRi romance we all hope for! I think you can tell we’re Aubrih fans, right?
She’s twerked to her heart’s consent, committed a few murders, and frolicked around a flower field. Whatever makes a video great, Rihanna’s been there, done that. She clearly never fails to push boundaries, be artistic and sexy when it comes to her creative work and we love her for it.
What is the best Rihanna video? Do you have a favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.
Want more from the world of RiRi? Check out these super-cool facts about Rihanna you probably didn’t know until now!