NEW YORK — Her fervently tracked fifth album, Loud, is just weeks from its November 16 due date, but on Wednesday (October 27), Rihanna was reflecting on her last LP, the moody Rated R. The Bajan singer turned up at a Fifth Avenue Barnes & Noble bookstore to sign copies of her new book.
Her self-titled tome is a photographic document of the year that followed the release of that dark disc and her triumphant Last Girl on Earth Tour. The widely photographed star told MTV News that her Rihanna Navy will get an intimate peek — unlike the relentless paparazzi pics that paper the blogs — at her life with this book, shot by creative director Simon Henwood.
“I think it was really special to have behind-the-scenes photos, you know, pictures that the fans haven’t seen before, all together of a very specific moment of my life, analbum of my life,” Rihanna told us.
From stage lights to street lights, the 22-year-old stunner shines in front of the camera and perhaps never more so than in the images that capture Rihanna in the moments between show times: Admirers will swoon over a picture of the singer clutching her hoodie on a Paris rooftop with the Eiffel Tower visible in the distance or another rather decadent snap that shows her feasting on room service with just a table napkin and black suspenders doubling as a shirt.
“They just get to see all the things that they hadn’t seen that were going on behind the scenes; really cool stuff, not typical,” Rihanna, draped in a calf-length floral frock, explained. “They’re really fun photos. And even for me, when I look at them, they say so much. Photos really tell a thousand words.”
The “Only Girl (In the World)” singer had her own favorite, though, and she thumbed through the oversize collection to show us a green-tinged photo of her onstage in an elaborate headdress that calls to mind Venetian blinds. (“I call it the ‘Disturbia’ one … I love that one.”)
So what essential items does a globe-trotting songstress making her debut headlining tour pack when your concert schedule takes you as far as the Belgian city of Antwerp?
“Essential?” she thought for a moment. “Comfortable, warm clothes for the bus — the bus is always freezing! And you always want to be comfortable on the bus. Not much heels. You’re pretty much going from the bus to the stage, back to the studio … back to the stage. So it’s not a lot of clothes to pack: sneakers, sweats, pajamas, stuff like that,” she smiled.