It only makes sense for a king to have a queen. Or in this case, perhaps she's a princess.
Either way, and with apologies to Beyoncé, Rihanna has been making like her label prez Jay-Z and ruling the summertime with a huge hit.
"I'm from Barbados, so I love the warm weather," the singer said. "Summertime is my favorite, especially being in a country [now] where there is winter. I can't wait for summer to come. I give more energy, and I always put out a song that's perfect for summer because it's special for me. It's important for me to make sure that my hottest song comes out [during the] summer."
She started with 2005's "Pon De Replay" and continued with last year's "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)." So it should come as no surprise that her Jay-assisted "Umbrella," from her forthcoming Good Girl Gone Bad (due Tuesday on Def Jam), has been heating up the airwaves (see "Rihanna Loses Good Girl Image, Thanks To Jay-Z, Justin, Timbaland, Ne-Yo"). This week the song shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Pop 100 and Digital Songs charts.
"I'm happy ['Umbrella'] came out great. It reminded me of summertime," Jay-Z recently told MTV News from the set of the video shoot.
But if Rihanna hopes to match Jay-Z's string of summer dominance ("Seven straight summers, critics might not admit it/ But nobody in rap did it quite like I did it," Jay spits on "Hovi Baby" from The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse), she's gonna have to keep it up.
The Bajan beauty will get the chance to prove herself Sunday, when she and Jay-Z take to the stage to perform "Umbrella" live at the MTV Movie Awards (see "MTV Movie Awards To Get Rocked By Jay-Z, Rihanna, Amy Winehouse").
"We're planning to relive the video onstage," Rihanna said of the performance. "But we're gonna add some new elements to it. It's gonna be pretty fresh. I got faith in it. I can't wait to do it, but I'm nervous. Every time I think about it, I get nervous. But I'm actually stoked. I can't wait."
Sorry fellas, but Rih Rih tells us that the silver body paint from the video won't make an appearance at the Movie Awards. Here, however, MTV News shines some light on Rihanna's past summer hits.
Song: "Pon De Replay"
Heat: Here's where Rihanna first started warming things up. Over a pulsating bass line and intermittent hand claps, the teen singer called for the DJ to turn the music up and replay her hit over (and over) again. The Caribbean-flavored track put Rihanna on the map, but perhaps because of the similarity to the Diwali riddim, which powered songs by Sean Paul ("Get Busy"), Wayne Wonder ("No Letting Go") and Lumidee ("Never Leave You [Uh Ooh, Uh Ooh!]"), fans didn't flock to buy her debut album as fast as they ran to the dance floor when "Pon De Replay" came on.
Hot line: "Everybody on the floor let me show you how we do/ Let's go, dip it low, then you bring it up slow."
Song: "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)"
Heat: Rihanna's ubiquitous single from her sophomore set, A Girl Like Me (released just eight months after her debut), was powered by an already well-known tune: "Tainted Love," by British new-wave band Soft Cell.
Producer J.R. Rotem flipped a portion of the synth-heavy track and added the familiar laser sound effects; a revamped Rihanna (looking a bit Beyoncé-ish in the video) wailed incessantly for the lover she longed for. The track was the singer's first U.S. #1 (on the Billboard Pop 100, Hot 100 and more), and it earned her an endorsement deal with Nike, but the follow-up, the Ne-Yo-penned "Unfaithful," didn't fare quite as well.
Hot line: "I'm the question and you're of course the answer/ Just hold me close, boy, 'cause I'm your tiny dancer."
Song: "Umbrella" (featuring Jay-Z)
Heat: Good Girl Gone Bad marks the singer's third album in a mere 18 months, but once again she's kick-starting the season with a scorcher on the Tricky-produced "Umbrella," which has also gone #1 in the U.K. Whether it's the song's infectious chorus ("Umbrella ella, ella, eh, eh, eh...") or the sexy Chris Applebaum-directed clip (silver body paint!), "Umbrella" has all the ingredients of a summer jam: a warm, upbeat feel and a sing-song melody. Oh, and some guy named Jay-Z opens the track with a verse. And did we mention the silver body paint?
Hot line: "Come into me/ There's no distance in-between our love, so go on and let the rain pour/ I'll be all you need and more."
Catch the latest on the 2007 MTV Movie Awards, including exclusives from host Sarah Silverman, nominee and presenter announcements, photos, highlights from years past and much more at MovieAwards.mtv.com And don't forget to grab the popcorn and tune in to the big show when it airs live — for the first time ever! — Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.