If it's Thursday, it must be Toronto. Rihanna, the Bajan bombshell and chart-topping pop queen, was booked into the Music Hall on Thursday night as part of a jet-setting promotional tour for her impending new album, Unapologetic. The location of the venue was kept under wraps until the sultry, heavy-lidded lady arrived in town in the morning.
It's possible that RiRi, as she is known in some circles, could be "unapologetic" about any number of things, one of them being her size 14EEE carbon foot print. To publicize her defiantly named album, she has commandeered a private Boeing 777, the world's largest twin-jet craft. On what she and her record label, Universal Music, have dubbed the 777 Tour, the high-flying hit-maker will touch down for seven intimate shows in seven countries in seven days. Toronto is the second destination, following Wednesday's concert in Mexico City. Her itinerary then calls for performances (for fans, local media and an international travelling press corps) in Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, London and New York.
Unapologetic, to be released on Nov. 19, is the artist's seventh album. The Umbrella singer is not known to be a numerologist, and soon it will be impossible to count her No. 1 hits on the fingers of her two hands. She currently has eight. (Chart-toppers, that is.)
The singer, of course, attracts much attention for her relationship with Chris Brown, the volatile R&B crooner who, in 2009, was convicted of assaulting the Caribbean-born recording artist. The pair's current romantic status is a matter of intense media speculation. The story was goosed on Thursday with the online leak of a new song, Nobody's Business, a duet featuring Rihanna and an Auto-Tuned Mr. Brown. The logic of publicly declaring their love for each other with a song that has a hook that suggests that their love for each other is "nobody's business" is not self-evident.
According to reports from Mexico City's El Plaza Condesa, Rihanna's tour-starting concert featured 20 songs in a brisk 70 minutes. Only two new songs (Phresh Off the Runway, and the hit single Diamonds) were part of the performance. Previous hits included Cockiness, Cake, S&M, Unfaithful, Umbrella and the finale, We Found Love).