In the year since Rihanna released her dark, moody Rated R album, she has re-emerged as the dance-tinged, Caribbean-flavored pop singer her fans grew to love. And her November 16 release, Loud, certainly mirrors that evolution, revealing a girl who overcame a number of personal issues to get back to a smiling, confident hitmaker.
"A lot has — I won't say changed, but a lot has evolved since then," she told MTV News. "A lot of growing up, a lot of responsibility in terms of taking control of my business and stuff like that."
In the past 12 months, Rihanna has definitely become more of a businesswoman, launching her own company and working closer with her mentor, Jay-Z. "It feels so good, because the closer you are to your business, the clearer you are about a lot of things," she explained. "And that responsibility doesn't feel like a burden. It feels like the right thing to do, and we just launched my new company Rihanna Entertainment, and I'm being managed by Roc Nation alongside of that. So I feel really good. It feels great to be home."
For those not familiar with Rihanna's company, she has described it as a brand that will "merge all of her businesses, including music, film, fragrance, fashion and book ventures." And these days, she's super busy with all those projects, but she's most busy promoting her album, which has fans going crazy thanks to collaborations with everyone from Drake and Nicki Minaj to Eminem.
Rihanna is in a much different place from when she "vented" about her tumultuous year on Rated R. "This album is an expression of all those feelings that I went through in the last eight months, just different emotions," she said in November 2009 about her assault at the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown and how it affected her music. "All of it isn't angry, all of it isn't dark and sad, 'cause I didn't go through that the whole time. That was part of it. It was really a roller coaster, and you get that when you're listening to the album."
What do you think about Rihanna's latest sound? Let us know in the comments!