Rihanna Earns First No. 1 Album: 5 Things to Know About 'Unapologetic'
Alas, Rihanna is shining the brightest on the Billboard 200.
After falling short with her first six, the Grammy winner's seventh studio album, Unapologetic, debuted at No. 1 in its opening week — becoming her first-ever chart topping disc. The collection sold 238,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, easily beating out Taylor Swift's Red in the No. 2 with 185,000.
The milestone brings an end to Rihanna's run as the only artist to have the most No. 1 songs on the Hot 100 without having ever earning a No. 1 album.
The highly-anticipated new release — which features everything from club bangers and EDM beats, to love ballads and urban R&B hits — sees Rihanna team up with a number of industry big-names. Rihanna worked with David Guetta on The-Dream-produced “Phresh Out the Runway,” collaborated with Eminem on “Numb” and even sampled Ginuwine's “Pony.” But one collaboration brought more buzz than the rest — in the ever-defiant “Nobody’s Business,” Rihanna join forces with her ex-boyfriend — and one-time abuser — Chris Brown.
After her controversy-fraught 777 tour came to a close, Rihanna received mixed reviews for her latest work. But after topping the charts, Unapologetic undoubtedly stands out among the rest of Rihanna's body of work.
1. "Diamonds" is a chart-topper, too. After being released on Sept. 27, “Diamonds” — the first single off Unapologetic — climbed to the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The pop ballad becomes Rihanna’s 12th No. 1 single, tying her with Madonna and The Supremes in fourth place for most No. 1 songs in Hot 100 history. The song also took the top slot in twelve other countries worldwide.
2. Unapologetic earned Rihanna a new sales record. The album brought the singer her strongest first-week sales ever, with 238,000 copies sold. Before Unapologetic, Rihanna’s best sales week belonged to 2010′s Loud, which landed at No. 3 with 207,000 moved units.
3. The meaning of Unapologetic — right from the horse’s mouth. "I named my album Unapologetic because there is only one truth, and you can't apologize for that," Rihanna said of the album title. "It's honest. I'm always evolving of course, I think the only motto I have is to be true to myself."
4. The album has a way with the Brits. Unapologetic became Rihanna's third consecutive No. 1 album in the United Kingdom, following 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad, 2010’s Loud and 2011’s Talk That Talk. She ties Madonna, Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones for the female artist with the most consecutive number one albums.
5. Rihanna picked up the pen for more than half the album. Out of the 14 tracks on Unapologetic, Rihanna is listed — under her given name, Robyn Fenty — in the writing credits for 11 tunes.