Rihanna in the 2016 "Work" music video featuring Drake
Screengrab via YouTube


Rihanna's Music Video Evolution, From Island Girl To International Superstar

The Bad Gal’s career features colorful eras and soul-stirring bangers.

Few modern pop artists have evolved like Rihanna. In her past 14 years in the international spotlight, she’s gone from dance floor bop-maker to artistic icon. Read on for 14 music videos that have defined the Bad Gal’s impactful career.

“Pon de Replay” (2005)

Robyn Rihanna Fenty’s introduction to the world was a harbinger of things to come: highly danceable, tropical-hued beats, a catchy chorus, and Rih’s appealing dance moves are all on display.

Screengrab via YouTube

“SOS” (2006)

With “SOS” Rihanna established herself as a certified dance floor hitmaker and (body glitter queen).

Screengrab via YouTube

“Unfaithful” (2006)

And with “Unfaithful,” she introduced us to another talent of hers — telling stories from fresh perspectives; in this case, a remorseful woman cheating on her man.

Screengrab via YouTube

“Umbrella” (2007)

The smash hit that made Rihanna a household name, the Jay-Z featuring “Umbrella” video also showed Rih adding an edge to her island girl style.

Screengrab via YouTube

“What’s My Name (feat. Drake)” (2010)

The first of many Rihanna-Drake collaborations, “What’s My Name” helped launched Rih’s redhead era.

Screengrab via YouTube

“Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem (2010)

Roughly a year following her breakup from Chris Brown, Rihanna’s feature in this explosive Megan Fox-starring video felt like an artistic and personal statement in one.

Screengrab via YouTube

“S&M” (2011)

Proof Rihanna was on the camp wave long before the fashion world caught on.

Screengrab via YouTube

“We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)” (2011)

The heart-swelling, narrative “We Found Love” video proves there’s no dance track Rih can’t perfect, and no hair trend she can’t start (and dominate).

Screengrab via YouTube

“Stay (feat. Mykki Ekko)” (2013)

“Stay” showed us a rawer, more vulnerable side to Rih, with its stripped-down (literally) visuals and soaring, heartfelt vocals.

Screengrab via YouTube

“Pour It Up” (2013)

In the running for the sexiest strip club anthem ever, “Pour It Up” features dancers twerking in the sky and Rihanna perched on a throne in her greatest role yet.

Screengrab via YouTube

“B*tch Better Have My Money” (2015)

One of the most quotable songs of the decade came with a highly memorable video to match, in which Rih and her sexy team of misfits kidnap for ransom her embezzling accountant’s wife.

Screengrab via YouTube

“Work (feat. Drake)” (2016)

However you feel about Rihanna and Drake’s on-again, off-again relationship, the song’s pair of sultry videos and Rihanna’s Patois lyrics were an instant cultural reset.

Screengrab via YouTube

“Needed Me” (2016)

In which Rihanna both freed the nipple and reminded us all why she’s the ultimate Bad Gal.

Screengrab via YouTube

Wild Thoughts (with Bryson Tiller and DJ Khaled)” (2017)

Rihanna saved us from a drought year by releasing this classic Song of the Summer, and gave us the iconic line: “Know you wanna see me nakey, nakey, naked.”

Screengrab via YouTube

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