Seven countries, seven days, a press corps of 150 journalists and a group of Rihanna’s most dedicated fans, taking to the skies on a chartered Boeing airliner sounds crazy, right? Yeah, it does, which is exactly why we’re so psyched to be hopping on the plane and flying around the world for the next week in the presence of the queen of “Diamonds.”
Not long after we boarded, a voice came on over the loudspeaker: “Ladies and gentlemen, there is an emergency code f—ing 777. Who’s ready for Mexico? Who’s ready for tequila?” Rihanna had just stepped onto her private twinjet and it was pandemonium. In a flurry of flashes (and with journalists throwing ’bows for a clear shot), Rih made her announcement. Wearing a black tank, backpack and jeans and swapping her short ’do for her longer, half-shorn coif, the star greeted her press corps, calling this ambitious tour some “presidential sh–.”
Mary H.K. Choi and I (you may know us from our usual gigs over at MTV Style) will be on the ground — and, often, up in the sky — on the 777 Tour, collecting all the breaking news, hijinks and assorted madness that’s sure to ensue on this wild ride. The plane is, as you might expect, luxurious, and the fans have come from all over the world to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime trip. It’s an unprecedented tour experience and we cannot wait to see what’s going to happen next.
Our home in the skies for the next seven days is a full-size, fully decked out Boeing 777. Although it’s not dripping in diamonds or plastered with Rihanna’s face, all of the amenities are here. Greeting each passenger was a gift bag, which included all types of Unapologetic swag, including socks printed with the album art.
Today (November 14), we’ll fly to Mexico City, followed by stops in Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, London and New York. We picked up our itineraries on Tuesday night, at the tour’s airport-adjacent first-night HQ in Los Angeles. But besides where we’re going, and the fact that we’re flying there — we have no idea what’s going to happen … which means that anything could.
Shows were announced just days ahead of each date, so we also know very little about what the performances will entail. From what we’ve gathered, each venue is small compared to the arena-packing shows Rihanna is used to. Will they be intimate and scaled down or will they be ornate and over-the-top? Will Rihanna bring guests onstage? We’re all about to find out.
Unapologetic drops November 19, coinciding with the London date and marking the release of the 24-year-old Bajan singer’s seventh record in as many years. It’s only fitting, then, that the album would be celebrated with an unprecedented event, both for press and for Rihanna’s ultra-devoted fans, her Navy. They called into radio shows, entered Twitter contests and fought tooth and nail over basically every social platform known to man to win a spot on this tour, proving just how dedicated they are.
An event of this size could only be pulled off by a truly A-list star, which Rihanna is, without a doubt.