Rihanna and Drake were recently announced as nominees for the 2016 Brit Awards. This prestigious music award is essentially the British version of the Grammy Awards. Simply achieving a nomination of this type is a great honor. This is one more indication that American rap and R&B artists have broad recognition and support in the United Kingdom. Decade after decade, the British public remains fully receptive to African-American musical forms. Of course, the transatlantic exchange of musical ideas operates in both directions. This is aptly demonstrated by “Black Beatles,” a recent hit by the American act Rae Sremmurd and rapper Gucci Mane.
It remains to be seen whether Drake or Rihanna will perform live at the Brit Awards ceremony, which is broadcast live on British television. If either one of these singers does choose to perform at the ceremony, this should provide an appreciable boost to the ceremony’s ratings this year. Other artists nominated for the 2016 Brit Awards include Skepta, David Bowie and Kano. Drake has been nominated in the category of “Best International Male Solo Artist.” Drake’s competitors in this category include Bruno Mars and the Weeknd. All in all, Drake should face very stiff competition here. Compared to Drake, Rihanna has a far longer history of commercial success in the United Kingdom. Every year, millions of British fans purchase Rihanna’s songs, albums and affiliated merchandise. Though the U.K. is far smaller than the United States in terms of population, there can be little doubt that Rihanna’s British fans contribute much to her overall commercial success.
Rolling Stone Magazine has included Rihanna’s recent album “Anti” in their list of the 45 best albums of 2016 so far. Personally, I think that including Rihanna’s latest effort in this list was a great choice.
I feel that Rihanna’s musical talent is often overshadowed by her great looks. Basically, she’s so attractive that some people don’t think her musical talent could be genuine; however, she’s more than just a pretty face, and her musical chops are for real. When it comes to performing rhythm and blues and rap with a trace of Caribbean soul, Rihanna simply can’t be beat.
Rihanna has managed to sell herself not just as a performer but as a personality as well. She’s a little bit outrageous, and you never know what she’ll do next. In this sense, she reminds me of Madonna in the early days of her career. Overall, it makes her music more compelling.
Now in her late twenties, Rihanna is at a crucial point in her career. As she ages, she’ll have to decide whether she’ll try something new – maybe get into acting, or producing, for instance – or stick to what she’s been successful at, music. I’d like to see her work with different musical artists and maybe go in some new creative directions. I think it would be awesome, say, if she made a pure reggae record or did something no one would expect like sing in an opera.