There was a time when Rihanna released a new album almost every year. Or at least every other year. But it has been an epically long time since the January 2016 drop of her eight studio effort, Anti.
And while whispers and rumors of new music have bubbled up here and there for years, on Wednesday (March 24) the singer gave fans some real hope that fresh tracks could be just around the corner.
Okay, a fresh track.
In a post thanking the Navy for their unwavering support over the years, RiRi opened the door a crack. “Grateful to the most High for putting die hard supporters in my circle,” she wrote alongside a prayer hands emoji and hashtags for the album and Women’s History Month. “Congrats to everyone that contributed to this era, thank you team.”
That was cool, but it’s what happened next that blew minds. When a fan suggested she, you know, drop a new song to celebrate even more, Rihanna responded in the Instagram post’s comments, “I think I should soon… just 1 tho lol.” That, of course, sent the Navy off the deep end of excitement.
The tease came after a New Year’s Day fan suggestion that Rih should make a resolution to release her long-awaited ninth studio album, to which she responded “2021 energy,” which, again, set propellers spinning out of control.
The singer’s near-Chinese Democracy of pop, commonly referred to as R9, has reportedly been in the works for several years, with Rolling Stone reporting in 2018 that there were potentially upwards of “500 records” vying for space on what was described as a Jamaican dancehall-inspired collection, as well a parallel pop-centric one.
And while the singer has been happy to play coy and gently stoke the fires of anticipation, she has said precious little about her musical plans — aside from alluding to the reggae album in a May 2018 Vogue profile — as she continues to focus on her lucrative Fenty makeup and Savage X Fenty lingerie lines.
A spokesperson for Rihanna had not returned Billboard’s request for additional information at press time.
RIHANNA IS RELEASING A NEW SONG
I REPEAT, RIHANNA IS RELEASING A NEW SONG pic.twitter.com/dM4wjcM6u7
— All Love Hip Hop (@AllLoveHipHop) March 24, 2021