Everything We Know About Rihanna's Ninth Album

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12:  Rihanna performs during Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Is there anything Rihanna can't do? Since releasing her multi-platinum album "Anti" in 2016, the business mogul has upended the beauty industry with Fenty Beauty, launched a luxury fashion line, changed the lingerie game with Savage X Fenty, become a certified billionaire, and welcomed two kids with her boyfriend, A$AP Rocky. She's also been teasing new music for a while now and fans are eager to hear it.

On Oct. 24, a source told Entertainment Tonight that Rihanna is planning a 2024/2025 world tour and also still plans to release new music. However, another "high-level source" later debunked the tour rumors with Billboard, to the dismay of many fans who have been anticipating finally seeing Rihanna live again.

Still, Rihanna has certainly given fans a lot to celebrate in the last year. The star headlined the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show in February — during which she announced her second pregnancy — and dropped her Oscar-nominated song "Lift Me Up," as part of the "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" soundtrack in late 2022. Earlier this year, the singer also said she's getting serious about her highly anticipated next album, famously dubbed "R9" by fans.

In her British Vogue cover story, published on Feb. 15, Rihanna got candid about the "toxic" pressure she's put on herself to have her next album live up to "Anti" and its success. "In hindsight, it really is my most brilliant album. I say that because in the moment, I didn't realize it. But it always felt like the most cohesive album I've ever made," Rihanna shared. She also said she's made herself feel of her next project, "That if it's not better than that then it is not even worth it."

The singer told the publication, though, "If I keep waiting until this feels right and perfect and better, maybe it's going to keep taking forever and maybe it'll never come out and no, I'm not down to that. So I want to play. And by play, I mean I have my ideas in my head, but I can't say them out loud yet."

Surprisingly, Rihanna revealed that she has written music over the past few years but nothing (aside from "Lift Me Up") made it to the place of being released. Still, she said of her next album release: "I want it to be this year. Like, honestly, it'd be ridiculous if it's not this year. But I just want to have fun. I just want to make music and make videos." Reps for Rihanna did not respond to POPSUGAR's request for comment at the time.

Rihanna previously dashed hope that an album was on its way in a November 2022 interview with the Associated Press. When asked if the Super Bowl performance meant a new album was coming, she said, "That's not true. Super Bowl is one thing. New music is another thing. Do you hear that, fans?"

The music icon has been fueling speculation about a new album for years now. In September 2021, Rihanna teased the possibility of new music to Billboard, saying, "You're not going to expect what you hear. Just put that in your mind." She added, "I'm really experimenting. Music is like fashion. You should be able to play. I should be able to wear whatever I want. I treat music the same way. So I'm having fun, and it's going to be completely different."

Fast-forward to February 2022, she shared another update with fans. "Yes, you're still going to get music from me," she told ET. "My fans would kill me if they waited this long for a lullaby."

For her May 2022 cover story with Vogue, Rihanna reassured fans that music is still very much a part of her agenda, though she remained tight-lipped on specific details for any upcoming untitled album. "I'm looking at my next project completely differently from the way I had wanted to put it out before," she said. "I think this way suits me better, a lot better. It's authentic, it'll be fun for me, and it takes a lot of the pressure off."

At this point, we're banking on Rihanna pulling a Beyoncé and surprising us with an overnight drop of the forthcoming project. But until that happens, fans will just have to play the waiting game a while longer.