NEW YORK — Rihanna joined Jay-Z onstage Sunday night in Los Angeles to sing "Run This Town" and her Young Jeezy-assisted track "Hard." While it wasn't her first performance since she was assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown in February, it did mark the first time she's performed any new material from the upcoming Rated R album.
Rihanna told MTV News on Monday that she was ushering in a "new era" at the concert.
"There are a lot of butterflies, a lot of excitement," Rihanna said about her return to music. "I'm anxious. Like, I can't wait. But you're always nervous, because you're about to go do something big. It's a new thing, a new era. But I'm not scared. I'm just really excited. I just can't wait to start. My first time performing the songs was [Sunday] night in L.A. I performed with Jay. We did 'Run This Town' and 'Hard,' and I kept thinking, 'Why the hell am I so nervous?' And I couldn't figure it out. But then I knew why: It was the first time performing one of my new songs. But it was fun. It was so exciting. The energy was awesome."
"Hard" was released to radio last week, featuring some tough, rhyme-like lyrics from Rihanna.
"Tougher than a lion/ Ain't no need in trying/ I live where the sky ends, yup, you know this," she sings in a near-rap flow. "Never lying, truth telling/ That Rihanna reign just won't let up/ ... The hottest bi--- in heels right here."
Rihanna will preview Rated R on Monday in a worldwide telecast from a performance taking place at an undisclosed location in London.