GLOBAL – We’re highlighting five great pieces of content you can enjoy on your smartphone from Nokia’s vast bank of apps, music and games. And we’re kicking it off with the mega-star Rihanna with an intimate look at the extreme life she leads.
With a single at No1 in the charts and an album that seems destined to hit the top, Rihanna doesn’t do things by half. She lives at a level of extreme success most people cannot imagine – and there are signs that she is pushing herself too far.
She maintains her supercharged sexually assertive image in defiance of her damaging relationship with singer Chris Brown. And despite critics and French authorities who banned her shocking video of We Found Love (in a Hopeless Place) about a dangerous attraction between an out-of-control thrill-seeking couple hooked on each other like drug addicts.
But this video is a sign that she recognises the relationship for what it was and can move on. Far from glamourising the lifestyle, it stands as a warning against the perils of falling into the same trap.
Rihanna said about the video: “This is probably one of the deepest videos I’ve ever done. It’s all about love and love being like a drug… you definitely get that from this.
‘The good feeling of it and the dangers of it. That’s what this video is about.”
From that extreme, Rihanna has released another video, in some ways far more intimate, about her family life. Narrated by Jay-Z, it’s a touching insight into the loving environment that nurtured her in the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados. And if you look carefully you’ll see possible explanations as to why she has survived, if anything strengthened by her experiences.
The 23-year-old star looks through family albums, even an old school report on her efforts at the age of seven. You see a string of As and high percentages against her name, Robyn Fenty. She gets 95 per cent for her grammar and 90 per cent for her reading ability.
She advises a teenage boy to make sure he is on top of his work before he socialises. And another family member tells him to open a text book instead of Facebook.
So Rihanna is living her “work hard, play hard” background. But is she pushing that to extremes too? Currently on a 10-month, 101-date tour, the star showed signs that she might have been playing a little too hard before she went to work recently on stage in Dublin, Ireland.
There were reports of her downing several pints of Guinness, a meltdown and a phone call to her friend Beyonce who talked her round, encouraging her to stick to her tour commitments and then take a year off.
But will Rihanna listen? Unlike Beyonce, the star has no man in her life. She complained recently on American chat show Ellen that the lack of a love-life was doing her no good.
And right now, with the grammy awards in sight, her success and popularity are through the roof. With 10million Twitter followers, performing at sell-out shows, she has already managed to achieve No1 album and single at the same time TWICE in the UK this year.
She is currently at No1 in the Nokia Music singles chart with We Found Love and has two albums in the top 40 of the Nokia Music albums chart, with her latest, Talk the Talk, about to hit No1. And every record producer in the world wants to work with her.
Yet, despite her superstardom, she wants to stay in touch with her ‘ordinary girl’ roots. She went to a recent gig at London’s O2 on an Underground train, using an Oyster travel card. But she was driven the last hundred yards from the Tube station to the stage door in a limousine.
Rihanna’s extremes and conflicts make her the artist she has become, and fans relate to her honesty and determination to be who she wants to be. And everyone who goes to work can relate to her quest for fun outside it.
But nobody wants to see her burn out. We Found Love is already one of this year’s greatest releases and fans won’t tire of hearing it. Rihanna has earned a year off. So time to Rih-lax. And where better than with her family in Barbados.
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Each week we’ll be binging you a Buy-five products that you can get on your smartphone.