Rolling Stone raved “one of the best pop records of the year.” The Chicago Sun Times called it “by far the best, most layered and most heartfelt effort of the 21-year-old artist’s career.” Critics and fans alike have been raving about Rihanna’s new album Rated R, which makes its debut today atop the Billboard R&B Albums chart at #1. With over 181,000 copies in its first week of release, Rated R stands as the biggest first-week Soundscan tally of Rihanna’s career.
After a whirlwind promotional tour leading up to the release of Rated R – including a London concert broadcast on MTV, BET and VH1 and performances on the American Music Awards, The Late Show with David Letterman and a Good Morning America concert in New York City’s Times Square – Rihanna’s two singles, “Russian Roulette” and “Hard” feat. Jeezy, are everywhere. Already exploding at radio, “Hard” was the #1 most added record at both the pop and urban formats, and was the greatest gainer at rhythm.
Rihanna will make two very special appearances in New York City later this week. Tomorrow, Thursday December 3rd, she will perform her first major New York area concert in over a year, with a special show at Hammerstein Ballroom sponsored by Myspace, Jetblue and radio station Hot 97. The show will stream live on Myspace.com/Rihanna at 9pm EST tomorrow night. Then, on Saturday December 5th, Rihanna will make her Saturday Night Live debut as musical guest.