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Rihanna 'starting over' on long-delayed new album; denies retiring despite viral rumors

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Rihanna Celebrates Fenty Hair Brand Launch in LA

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Billionaire pop star and beauty mogul Rihanna teased fans once again about her long-awaited new album, which would be her first release since 2016, stating she’s “starting over” after a break from the studio—and denying she quit the music business after fans speculated about her viral “I’m Retired” shirt.

Rihanna told Entertainment Tonight at the launch event for her new Fenty Beauty line, Fenty Hair, she’s “starting over” on her long-awaited ninth album and is “prepared to go back in the studio” after previously putting the project aside.

She clarified she plans to revisit some songs she has already recorded with “new ears, with my new perspective” before deciding if they still fit the musical direction in which she plans to take her new album.

The singer also addressed a shirt she wore last week that rattled fans, which said “I’m Retired” in large letters, denying that she is actually retired and pointing out that the shirt had another line: “This is as dressed up as I get.”

The shirt went viral on social media, with one upload on X garnering nearly 10 million views, as well as plenty of responses from fans (and even YouTube Music) who feared she was actually retired and wasn’t just trolling.

Rihanna has long teased—and frustrated—her fans with the abnormally lengthy wait for her upcoming ninth studio album. The singer was once known for back-to-back releases that flooded the charts, releasing seven albums between 2005 and 2012, as well as her most recent album “Anti” (2016). She appeared as a featured artist on several songs in 2017, including Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty” and DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts,” before earning an Oscar nomination for her “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” song “Lift Me Up” in 2023. But she has yet to release any songs or teasers related to her upcoming album, dubbed “R9” by fans. She once claimed in an Instagram comment the new album would drop in 2019, but at the end of December that year, she posted a video of a dog dancing captioned: “me listening to R9 by myself and refusing to release it.” She admitted to trolling her fans about the lengthy wait in 2020, telling Entertainment Tonight: “I like to antagonize my fans a little bit. Well, they antagonize me, too! So, they get it right back." Last year, ahead of her Super Bowl halftime show performance, Rihanna said “it’d be ridiculous” if she did not release the album in 2023.

Rihanna teased her new album at the launch event for Fenty Hair in Los Angeles. Fenty Hair releases on June 13 with a “flexible line of products” to strengthen and repair “all types of hair,” the singer said in an Instagram post. The launch marks an expansion of the beauty empire that has made Rihanna a billionaire. She previously launched Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics company in partnership with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, in 2017, as well as additional ventures including Fenty Skin, a skincare line, and Savage X Fenty, a lingerie collection.

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She's playing in her fans faces. She makes too much money with minimal input on her health and beauty products brit9

I can see her dropping a single or something in the next year but she ain't in any hurry to release new music.

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