Congrats go out to Rihanna. The 27-year old pop diva has scored her second #1 album atop the Billboard 200. Despite being labeled a flop, Anti sold 170,000 copies during its first week of release, with 135,000 of those coming from pure album sales.
Rihanna has taken a lot of this this past week, thanks in part to the poor way in which Tidal handled the release of Anti. I also think it was a poor decision for the singer’s camp to assert Anti as something that would be groundbreaking. Over a year’s worth of hype led to unrealistic sales expectations that Rihanna just could not live up to.
However, history has shown us that Rihanna doesn’t need hype, a number one album, or huge opening week numbers in order to have a successful album or tour. Me thinks someone wanted to make Rihanna over in the image of Beyonce, something that was not needed. I also think Tidal was scared to release Anti while Adele’s 25 was still dominating the charts.
If Rihanna takes away anything from the fiasco of Anti’s launch, it should be that less is more. She’s a star and doesn’t have to compete. She needs only be herself. Hype and number albums don’t count, only #1 singles, which she has in her latest, Work.