It’s been nearly four years since Rihanna dropped ANTI, indisputably her best album to date. Though we haven’t received any new singles from the famed Barbados-born R&B singer, Rihanna has been all but missing since “Work” took over the airwaves.
She’s built a fashion empire, becoming the first black woman to do so. She released a book. She, alongside Beyonce, has earned the title of one of the most influential and successful hip-hop albums of the decade with ANTI. Considering the level of achievement since 2016, we aren’t surprised that Rihanna has taken her time with the ANTI follow-up.
But, to the hallelujahs of Rihanna fans everywhere, it’s finally coming. According to Rihanna, her long-rumored, reggae inspired album will be here before the end of 2019. Though her Fenty empire has deterred her from the studio, Rihanna assured The Navy in her last Vogue cover story:
“Music is, like, speaking in code to the world, where they get it. It’s the weird language that connects me to them. Me the designer, me the woman who creates makeup and lingerie—it all started with music. It was my first pen pal–ship to the world. To cut that off is to cut my communication off. All of these other things flourish on top of that foundation.”
Though not much is known about Rihanna’s upcoming album
—strictly rumored to be titled R9
—Rihanna opened up in the same Vogue cover story about her ongoing reggae influence.
“It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks.” She continues. “Reggae always feels right to me. It’s in my blood. It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves. It’s always the same high. Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really homed in on completely for a body of work.”
Now that fans can rest assured that a new Rihanna album is on the way, The Navy must be wondering: Will Rihanna Tour in 2020? Fans received a huge tease in the form of Rihanna’s book/visual autobiography, which was filled with photos taken by those who were lucky enough to accompany her on the “ANTI” World Tour. Fans were reminded: Rihanna is a star to behold.
Because Rihanna has remained tight-lipped about her forthcoming album, we don’t consider a lack of news regarding a Rihanna 2020 Tour as a sign for things to come. Rather, let’s take a look at Rihanna’s past touring trends, as they are the best indications for future album promotion.
The “Anti World Tour” was announced two months before Rihanna dropped ANTI. It ran from March 2016 – November 2016, totaling to 75 shows across three continents. The “Diamonds World Tour,” in promotion of 2012’s Unapologetic, was announced a month ahead of the album following the singer’s performance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. It ran from March – November 2013, with 96 concerts spread across five continents.
So, if Rihanna is in fact dropping her album before the end of 2019, the tour announcement should be any day now. But, considering how little we know about her forthcoming LP, we wouldn’t be surprised if the release date is pushed in 2020. And if that is the case, Rihanna isn’t due to announce her tour anytime soon.
The good news: Rihanna always tours. She loves her fans and continues to engage with them on social media. We think it is highly likely that R9, or whatever the album is titled, arrives with Rihanna announcing a round of 2020 concerts as well.