R.I.P. Rihanna’s Shoulder Pads (2009-2010)

Rihanna performs at an American Idol Season 9 Show on April 7, 2010, at the 2009 American Music Awards on Nov. 22, 2009, and at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 12, 2010.
Photos: PictureGroup & Getty Images

Kanye West interviewed Rihanna for the December issue of Interview magazine. And guess what one of his first questions was about? Yep, fashion! Specifically, “how has it evolved since the start of [her] career.” And as pointed out over at Styleite, the Good Girl Gone Bad says she went from “a very, innocent, girly look,” to “a darker, edgier look.” And now? Rihanna says she’s “over the whole structured clothing, overly shoulder-padded s***. I like stuff that’s easy without trying too hard. I don’t like stuff that’s too contrived.” Well, RiRi, before you brush off your shoulders (which we will miss dearly), lets celebrate them. Here’s a look back at our favorite Rihanna shoulder-padded moments. Sniff-sniff.

Rihanna at a costume gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2009, DKMS’ Third Annual Star-Studded Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 7, 2009, and Carol’s Daughter in New York City on June 16, 2009.
Photos: Getty Images

Rihanna’s shoulder situation started off less pointy and more pillowy in plush suit jackets and feminine tops with padding that looked powerful, but still soft.

Rihanna at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City on June 29, 2009, at the Balmain Prêt à Porter during Paris Womenswear Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 on Oct. 1, 2009, and backstage during Givenchy Prêt à Porter during Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 4, 2009.
Photos: Getty Images

As Rihanna’s toppers shrunk and became more form-fitting, her shoulder pads got narrower and grew pointier. Very Balmain.

Rihanna performs at the 2009 American Music Awards on Nov. 22, 2009, ABC’s ’Good Morning America’ in New York City on Nov. 24, 2009, and the German TV Show ’Popstars You & I’ finale on Dec. 10, 2009.
Photos: Getty Images

We noticed Rihanna’s shoulder pads pump up for performances like the 2009 American Music Awards. But the over-the-top look worked—it matched her big stage presence.

Rihanna at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2010, the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam on Feb. 4, 2010, and the Echo Awards on March 4, 2010.
Photos: PictureGroup & Getty Images

By adding feathers and fabric, or cutting off one shoulder pad altogether, Rihanna showed a more feminine side. Sure, she was still making a fashion point, but it wasn’t as in-your-face.

Rihanna performs at an ’American Idol’ Season 9 Show on April 7, 2010, at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 12, 2010 and during MTV’s ’The Seven’ in Times Square on Nov. 15, 2010.
Photos: Getty Images & PictureGroup

Are these super-embellished, patterned and printed, quarterback-style performance pads the last we’ll see from Rihanna? We sure hope not!

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