Loud (Rihanna album)

Loud (Rihanna album)
Studio album by Rihanna
Released November 12, 2010 (2010-11-12)
Recorded February–August 2010
Genre R&B, dance-pop, pop
Length 46:38
Label Def Jam
Producer Antonio "L.A." Reid (exec.), Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers (co-exec.), Alex da Kid, Polow da Don, Rihanna (exec.), The Runners, Sandy Vee, Sham, Mel & Mus, Soundz, StarGate, C. "Tricky" Stewart
Rihanna chronology
Rated R
Talk That Talk
Singles from Loud
  1. "Only Girl (In the World)"
    Released: September 10, 2010
  2. "What's My Name?"
    Released: October 29, 2010
  3. "Raining Men"
    Released: December 7, 2010
  4. "S&M"
    Released: January 21, 2011
  5. "California King Bed"
    Released: May 13, 2011
  6. "Man Down"
    Released: July 11, 2011
  7. "Cheers (Drink to That)"
    Released: August 2, 2011

Loud is the fifth studio album by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna, first released on November 12, 2010 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was recorded between February and August 2010, predominantly during Rihanna's Last Girl on Earth Tour and filming for her first feature film Battleship (2012). Rihanna was executive producer on the album and worked with several record producers, including StarGate, The Runners, Polow da Don, Tricky Stewart, and Alex da Kid, among others. The album featured several guest vocalists, including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Eminem, who is featured on the sequel to "Love the Way You Lie", "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)", where Rihanna sang lead vocals. Britney Spears appears on the remix of the single version of "S&M" , although she is not on the album version.

The album differed from Rihanna's previous release, Rated R (2009), which featured a prominently foreboding and angry tone with dark themes and incorporated elements of hip hop, rock, and dubstep music genres. Loud features up-tempo and pop genres, ranging from dance-pop to electro-R&B, and marked her return to her dancehall roots, which was prominent on her earlier albums Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl like Me (2006). The album also incorporates rock in "California King Bed" and reggae in the Caribbean inspired "Man Down".

Loud received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented its upbeat material and Rihanna's vocal performances, with some critics calling it "...brilliantly sassy and exuberant at times" and praised "...the subtle West Indian flavor." However, some critics found the album to be "slapdash" and "...an unfocused assortment of poor-to-solid songs than a unified set." The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first week sales of 207,000 copies, the highest first week sales of her career to date. The album debuted at number one on the Canadian and Swiss Albums Chart. In the United Kingdom, the album reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and was the fourth best-selling album of 2010, although it was released at the end of November that year. Loud was a commercial success internationally, and peaked at number one in Canada, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Scotland and Switzerland, and reached the Top 5 Australia, Denmark, France and Germany.

The album produced seven singles, including the international hits "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?", and "S&M". All three singles reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. "S&M" was Rihanna's tenth US number one song, making Rihanna the youngest recording artist to accumulate ten number one songs in the shortest time, surpassing Mariah Carey's record. In the United Kingdom "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?" peaked at number one, whilst "S&M" peaked at number three. "Only Girl (In the World)" won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in February 2011. To support the album, Rihanna embarked on her third worldwide concert tour, entitled the Loud Tour.


Background and recording

The vice president of Def Jam Records, Bu Thiam, compared the album with Michael Jackson's bestseller Thriller.

In an interview for MTV, Ne-Yo, one of the producers on Rated R, said that he would not write songs for Rihanna that were about Brown,[1] but that it is normal for Rihanna to have a new, more edgy and angrier style for her next album.[2] The album was commercially successful and spawned five singles, including the international chart topper "Rude Boy". Six months after releasing Rated R, it transpired that Rihanna was planning a fifth studio album. Rihanna said that her new material will be "...more energetic" than her previous works.[3] StarGate's Erik Hermansen, said "Rihanna came to us before we started recording "Only Girl (In the World)" and said ‘I feel great about myself. I want to go back to having fun, I want to make happy and up-tempo records'."[4] Sean Garrett compared the sound of the new tracks with her previous hit singles "Umbrella" and "Rude Boy".[5] In an interview for MTV the vice president of Def Jam Recordings compared the upcoming Rihanna album with Michael Jackson's Thriller saying, "Rihanna is coming along incredibly. I’m trying to push her to where every song will be a hit from one to 12. I’m talking about NO album fillers. Our bar for this album is Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’."[5]

Recording sessions for Loud began in February 2010,[6] and continued for six months, overlapping with her Last Girl on Earth Tour and filming during her debut feature film Battleship (2012).[7] The album was recorded in various recording studios; Burst HQ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cahuenga Pass Studio, Larrabee Sound Studios, The Village, Westlake Recording Studios, and East West Studios in Los Angeles, California, Effigy Studios, Electric Lady Recording Studios, Platinum Sound Recording Studios, and Roc the Mic Studios in New York City, New York, Glenwood Studios in Burbank, California, No Excuses Recording Studios in Santa Monica, California, The Hit Factory and We the Best Studios in Miami, Florida, Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, and The Bunker Studios in Paris, France.[8] Singer-songwriters and producers Taio Cruz,[9] Alex da Kid,[10] Sean Garrett,[11] Ne-Yo,[12] Rico Love,[13] Timbaland,[13] Shontelle,[14] David Guetta,[15] and Drake[16] contributed to the album. Rihanna and L.A. Reid assembled a group of songwriters and record producers at several recording studios in Los Angeles for two weeks to write songs for Rihanna; they wrote approximately 200 songs, eleven of which were included on the album.[17] "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" was written for Rihanna, but the song was rejected and was subsequently sent to Usher.[17] With regard to "What's My Name?", Rihanna thought Drake could understand the melody of the song and invited him to work on the track when she played him the finished recording.[18] The collaboration was originally planned to be the remix, but later it was decided to use the original version.[19] In September 2010, during a webchat with her fansite Rihannadaily.com, Rihanna described how she had completed the album:

I'm done recording the whole album," Rihanna revealed during the chat, which took place on the official fansite Rihanna Daily. "I made sure not to let you down with my music! You guys are always defending me, so now you've got some great songs to justify it. I didn't want to go backward and remake [2007's] Good Girl Gone Bad. I wanted the next step in the evolution of Rihanna, and it's perfect for us.[7]

During the same webchat, Rihanna announced that the album would be called Loud, saying "get Loud everybody, get crazy, get excited, because I'm pumped. I'm just gonna be me, because that's what you guys love the most, and that's what makes me feel best. Just being normal, normal for me is Loud! Sassy, fun, flirty, energetic."[7] While Rihanna was filming Battleship, she explained in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, "Loud is, the word, the name of the album definitely reflects the attitude of it, it’s really sassy and flirty and it grabs your attention and that’s why I enjoy it. It takes you through a really really interesting ride. So colorful the album.”[20]


Influence and sound

Loud incorporates up-tempo and pop genres, ranging from dance-pop to electro-R&B, and marks Rihanna's return to her dancehall roots,[24] which was prominent on her earlier releases Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl like Me (2006).[25] In an interview with MTV News, Rihanna said "I wanted songs that were all Rihanna songs, that nobody else could do. I didn't want the generic pop record that Ke$ha or Lady Gaga or Katy Perry could just do and it'll work. I wanted a song, or songs, that were Rihanna songs, that only I could do, had that little West Indian vibe to it, had that certain tone, a certain sass and a certain energy."[26] During the promotion of Loud, Rihanna said that much of the music was born out of frustration. She explained: "When you go to a club and have to listen to bad music you revert to the liquor, because you want to have a good time. I hate having to skip a track. I wanted to make an album you can just play."[27]

Songs and lyrics

The opening track on the album, "S&M", is an up-tempo Eurodance song[28] produced by Norwegian producers StarGate and Sandy Vee. The song samples Depeche Mode's 1984 song "Master and Servant"[29] and contains lyrical thoughts of sadomasochism.[29] Andy Kellman of Allmusic praised "S&M" as one of the better dance-pop songs from Loud, for efficiently balancing "...Rihanna’s playful and sinister sides", though he wrote that it was not as good as her previous single "Rude Boy" (2010).[24] James Skinner of BBC Music criticized the use of sadomasochistic lyrics which he said were not synonymous with the flirtatious appeal that Rihanna was trying to create.[30]

"What's My Name?" was produced by StarGate and features guest vocals from Canadian rapper Drake. "What's My Name?" is mid-tempo, electro-R&B song,[31][32] and sees Rihanna's return to the "Island-pop" style of her early career with a backing track consisting of heavy reggae.[33] Megan Vick of Billboard said "As much as 'What's My Name' is a joint effort, Rihanna owns the song by delivering a more polished version of her pop persona."[33]

"Cheers (Drink to That)" was produced by the hip-hop producers The Runners.[34] Mark Savage from BBC News described the song as a funky, loping guitar groove for to a night out on the town, which Rihanna dedicated to "...all the semi-alcoholics in the world".[34] "Cheers (Drink to That)" contains interpolations Avril Lavigne's "I'm with You".[34]

"Only Girl (In the World)", the lead single, was the third produced by StarGate. "Only Girl (In the World)" is an up-tempo dance-pop song that incorporates elements of eurodance in its production.[22][35][36] Brad Wete, a reviewer for The Music Mix at Entertainment Weekly, described Rihanna's vocals as "...seductive" and reminiscent of a "...stronger, sexier version" of her 2007 single, "Don't Stop the Music".[22]

"California King Bed" is a rock ballad,[37][38] while "Man Down" incorporates a heavy reggae composition.[39] Ryan Dombell from Pitchfork Media commented that "California King Bed" is a "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" type power ballad genetically engineered to soundtrack a bi-coastal Kate Hudson rom-com."[40] Jon Pareless of "New York Times" commented that in "Man Down", Rihanna plays up her West Indian accent in the electro-reggae rhythm song about shooting a man in Central Station.[41] "California King Bed" and "Cheers (Drink to That)" were produced by The Runners, while "Man Down" was produced by Shama Joseph. "Raining Men" features rap vocals from Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj. Rihanna described the song as "...a really fun song. Nothing like the original. It's quite uptempo but kind of quirky and funny."[42] However, Allmusic described the R&B-Dancehall song as a low-point on the album, adding that it sounds unfinished.[24]

"Complicated" was produced by Tricky Stewart and Ester Dean. Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly said "Even while telling a recalcitrant man how hard he is to love, she [Rihanna] sounds almost buoyant, her newly expanded vocals eager to scale the song’s high-altitude house beat".[43]

The final track is the sequel to Rihanna's duet with Eminem, "Love the Way You Lie". "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)", which was produced by Alex da Kid, features Rihanna as the protagonist and lead vocalist, viewing aspects of a relationship from a female perspective, unlike the original, which featured Eminem as lead vocalist and was from a male perspective.[44]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[24]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[43]
The Independent 3/5 stars[45]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[46]
The New York Times (favorable)[41]
Pitchfork Media (7.6/10)[47]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[48]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[49]
Spin (8/10)[50]
USA Today 3/4 stars[51]

Loud received mostly positive reviews from contemporary music critics.[52] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 given to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 67, based on 22 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[52] Jon Pareles of The New York Times perceived a "...hermetic, cool calculation" on the album, writing that it "...works the pop gizmos as neatly as any album this year, maintaining the Rihanna brand".[41] New York Daily News writer Jim Farber gave the album four out of five stars, noting that it "...seems effortless and free".[53] Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt commented that Loud shows Rihanna "...undefeated by her worst circumstances — and finding redemption in exactly the kind of pop nirvana that made her famous in the first place".[43] James Reed of The Boston Globe called the album "...an unabashed return to where Rihanna belongs: the dance floor" and stated "As if liberating herself from the depths, she’s a force on these 11 songs".[54] Stacey Anderson of Spin commended Rihanna's "...full, healthy claim to her sexuality" and wrote that the album "...offers a confident female ethos on par with the best of Beyoncé or Shakira".[50]

BBC Online's James Skinner called Loud "...brilliantly sassy and exuberant at times" and praised Rihanna's vocals for "...elevating it from a hit-and-miss collection into something oddly arresting".[55] Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club gave Loud a B- rating and commended Rihanna for elevating its generic sound, writing that she "...does sound invigorated, delivering charismatic vocal performances of material that doesn’t always warrant them".[56] Los Angeles Times writer August Brown called it "...strobe-thumping".[46] Emily Mackay of NME gave Loud seven out of 10 rating and found that "...'Loud'’s experiments feel more organic, its tone better paced" than Rated R.[57] Chicago Sun-Times writer Thomas Conner commented that "...the celebratory atmosphere of Rihanna's sassy new jams are seasoned with some of the darker flavors from 'Rated R'".[58] USA Today's Steve Jones stated "The edgy music, which leans heavily toward dance and island sounds, fits well with her less than blissful romantic romps".[51] Pitchfork Media's Ryan Dombal complimented the album's "...effervescent pop" and stated: "Her laissez-faire attitude toward hit-making on Loud can result in too-safe moves or semi-experiments that come off surprisingly great".[47]

However, Andy Kellman of Allmusic found its material to be "slapdash" and "uneven", calling Loud "...more an unfocused assortment of poor-to-solid songs than a unified set".[24] The Phoenix writer Daniel Brockman gave the album two out of four stars and commented that "...just because it's louder [stylistically] doesn't mean there's more to hear".[59] The Washington Post's Chris Richards commented that Rihanna's performance lacks depth and called the album "...largely forgettable".[60] Andy Gill of The Independent noted that "...the more interesting tracks are those with less salacious demands on her vulnerability".[45] Despite noting some flaws in its production, Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani commended "...the subtle West Indian flavor with which Rihanna and company have smartly imbued" on most of the album and stated "Rihanna has always had trouble fitting into one genre  ...  and for better or worse, Rihanna continues to stylistically branch out on Loud".[49] Hugh Montgomery of The Observer commented that "Sonically, it's fairly unremarkable  ...  but its strident buoyancy is difficult to resist".[61] Rolling Stone writer Melissa Maerz called Rihanna "serene" and concluded "Maybe the good girl gone bad is getting better?".[48]

Commercial performance

Rihanna performing "California King Bed" on her Loud Tour.

Loud debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 207,000 copies in the United States, giving Rihanna her highest first-week sales in the US.[62] It also debuted at number one on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[63] In its second week, the album dropped to number six on the Billboard 200 and sold 141,000 copies.[64] By its thirteenth week, the album returned to its peak at number three and sold 62,000 copies.[65] However, in its fourteenth week, the album dipped to number ten on the Billboard 200 with 45,000 copies sold.[66] In its fifteenth week, Loud rose to number eight, selling an additional 33,000 copies in the US.[67] By July 3, 2011, Loud was the 11th best-selling album of 2011 in the United States, selling 598,000 copies between January 1, 2011 and July 3, 2011.[68] As of September 14, 2011, the album has sold 1,452,900 copies in the United States.[69] On January 25, 2011, Loud was certified Platinum in the United States, denoting sales of over one million.[70]

Loud was a commercial success internationally.[71] In Canada, it debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart,[72] selling 27,000 copies in its first week.[73] Loud sold more than 80,000 units in Canada, achieving platinum status by the first week of December 2010.[74] By January 5, 2011, Loud has sold more than 130,000 copies in Canada.[75] In France, the album debuted at number three with first week sales of 17,304 copies.[76] By its sixth week on the French Charts, Loud achieved platinum status, reaching the 100,000 copies mark.[77] In its second week on the Australian Albums Chart, Loud certified Platinum for sales of over 70,000 copies.[78] In Italy, the album became Rihanna's highest peaking chart position at number eleven.[79] It was her third consecutive number one album in Switzerland.[80] Loud debuted at number two on the German Albums Chart.[80][81] The album debuted at number two in the United Kingdom, with first week sales of 91,000 units.[82] In its seventh week on the chart, Loud reached number one, giving Rihanna her second UK number-one album. After seven weeks of sales, the album became the fourth best-selling album of 2010 in the UK.[83] The album had sold 1,500,000 copies in the United Kingdom by September 4, 2011.[84] By July 8, 2011, Loud was certified five-times platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), marking shipments of 1.5 million copies to retailers.[85] As of October 2011, the album has sold over 8 million copies worldwide.[86]


"Only Girl (In the World)" was released as the album's lead single on September 10, 2010.[87] The song was sent to US mainstream and rhythmic radio on September 21, 2010.[88][89] It received positive reviews from music critics, especially for its chorus and thunderous dance beats.[90] The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, in the UK, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Slovakia, becoming one of her best charting songs to date.[91] At the 53rd Grammy Awards, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 13, 2011, "Only Girl (In the World)" won the award for Best Dance Recording.[92]

"What's My Name?", which features guest vocals by Canadian recording artist Drake was released as the album's second single, being sent to US mainstream and rhythmic radios on September 21, 2010.[93][94] It was released as a digital download on October 29, 2010 in some European markets and in the US on November 1, 2010.[95] Music critics praised the song as some of Rihanna's best vocal work to date, the romantic nature of the song and its sexual tones. The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Rihanna her eighth number-one on the chart,[96][97] whilst "Only Girl (In the World)" became her ninth number-one hit two weeks after "What's My Name?",[98][99] making it the first time in the history of the chart that an album's first single peaked at number one after the second.[100] It reached number one in the United Kingdom and became Rihanna's fifth UK number one single and Drake's first.[101]

The collaboration with Nicki Minaj, "Raining Men", was released to urban radio on December 7, 2010 as an urban radio single and third track from Loud released as a single in the US.[42] It was re-released to urban radio on January 25, 2011.[102] "Raining Men" peaked at number forty-eight on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[103] "Raining Men" received mixed reviews from critics who praised the chemistry between Rihanna and Minaj but criticised the song for failing to create anything new or original.[24] "S&M", the album's fourth US single and third international single, was released to US mainstream radio on January 25, 2011.[102] Reception of "S&M" was mixed; some reviewers criticized the overt use of sexual lyrics while others noted it as a stand-out track from Loud.[104] "S&M" was remixed by several notable DJs. One remix features guest vocals by Britney Spears, which was released digitally on April 11, 2011.[105] "S&M" reached the top ten in twenty-four countries, reaching number one in Australia, Canada and on the US Hot 100 chart[106] "S&M" became Rihanna's tenth number one song on the chart, making her the youngest recording artist to have accumulated ten number one songs in the shortest amount of time, surpassing Mariah Carey's record.[107]

"California King Bed" was released as the fourth international single on May 13, 2011,[108] and as the sixth US single. It was sent to US Hot/Modern adult contemporary radio on May 16, 2011.[109] Critics praised Rihanna's vocal performance,[45] whilst some called it a powerful ballad, comparing it to Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing".[47] The song peaked at number four in Australia and New Zealand,[110][111] number eight on the UK Singles Chart[112] and thirty-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[113] "Man Down" was released as the fifth international single in some European countries in July 2011 and was released to US rhythmic and urban radios on May 3, 2011.[114][115] "Man Down" received positive reviews from critics, who called it a return to Rihanna's Caribbean-tinged rhythm. Before its official release, the song debuted on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number eighty-four on April 9, 2011[116] and peaked at number nine.[117] "Man Down" also reached a peak of fifty-nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was released to digital outlets in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland on July 11, 2011 as the fifth international single from Loud.[118][119] In France, it peaked at number one for five consecutive weeks.[120]

On July 24, 2011, Rihanna announced the release of "Cheers (Drink to That)" as the seventh single from the album.[121] The single was released to US mainstream and rhythmic radio on August 2, 2011.[122] The song peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[123] and number twelve on the US Pop Songs chart.[123]

Other notable songs

Upon the release of Loud, the non-single track "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)", which features guest vocals from American rapper Eminem, debuted and peaked at number nineteen on the Canadian Hot 100.[124] The song is sequel to "Love the Way You Lie", and features Rihanna as the main vocalist. It received positive reviews from music critics, some noting Rihanna's commanding vocals.[125] Rihanna performed the song live for the first time as part of a medley with "What's My Name?" and "Only Girl (In the World)" at the American Music Awards of 2010 on November 21, 2010[126] and again at the 53rd Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011 as part of a medley with "I Need a Doctor" performed by Eminem, Dr. Dre, Adam Levine from Maroon 5, and Skylar Grey.[127]

Release and promotion

Loud was released on November 12, 2010, in four separate editions; a Standard Edition, a Deluxe Edition packaged in a digipak exclusively for US and Australia that features a 30 minute "Making of the album" DVD, a Couture Edition containing the deluxe edition of Loud with a deluxe cover art lithograph and a box set with enhanced clear couture cover and a full-size photo book.[128] An Ultra Couture Edition was produced, containing a copy of the Deluxe Edition of Loud signed by Rihanna, the MP3 download of Loud on street date and all the features of the Couture Edition. The Ultra Couture Edition sold out and is no longer available.[129] An explicit version of Loud was also released and features a Parental Advisory label due to some of the lyrical content.[130] The Japanese edition of the album was released with two additional remixes of Only Girl (In the World).[131] The piano version of Love the Way You Lie (Part II) was only available with the iTunes edition of the album. However, the version which features Eminem was available to buy.[132]

Live performances

Rihanna performing "Only Girl (In the World)" on her 2011 Loud Tour.

Rihanna toured to promote Loud' in Europe and North America. She performed "Only Girl (In the World)", the lead single, live for the first time in North America on Saturday Night Live on October 30, 2010. Rihanna also debuted her second single, "What's My Name?" on the show.[133][134] The following day in the United Kingdom, Rihanna sang "What's My Name?" on series seven of The X Factor.[135]

Rihanna performed "Only Girl (In the World)" at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010 in Madrid, Spain, on November 7, 2010,[136] on The X Factor in Italy on November 9, 2010,[137] and on Le Grand Journal in France on November 10, 2010.[138] On November 11, 2010, Rihanna appeared on a pre-recorded edition of The Graham Norton Show in the United Kingdom, where she gave an interview and sang "Only Girl (In the World)".[139] On November 15, before the album's US release, Rihanna reprised her performance of "What's My Name?" for MTV's The Seven, live from Times Square, New York.[140] The next day, Rihanna performed "What's My Name?" on The Late Show with David Letterman.[141]

On November 17, 2010, Rihanna was interviewed and performed "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?" on Good Morning America.[142] Rihanna performed a medley of "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)", "What's My Name?" and "Only Girl (In the World)" at the American Music Awards of 2010 on November 21, 2010, where she won the award for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist.[126] Rihanna opened with an acappella version of "Love The Way You Lie Part II".[143]

On December 11, 2010, Rihanna returned to series seven of the UK's The X Factor, to perform "Unfaithful" with finalist Matt Cardle and a solo performance of "What's My Name?".[144] The finale was watched by fifteen million viewers, but attracted thousands of complaints about Rihanna's choice of outfit and sexual performance.[145] Rihanna performed the song with Drake for the first time at the 53rd Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011.[146] Rihanna also appeared at the 2011 BRIT Awards on February 15, 2011, where she performed "S&M" for the first time, as a medley with "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?".[147][148] Rihanna was requested to "tone down" her performance of "S&M" by the show's producers, and she performed only one verse and chorus in between "Only Girl (In The World)" and "What's My Name?". The BRIT Awards corporation wanted to avoid receiving complaints similar to those received by X-Factor.[149] Rihanna was a special guest at the NBA All Star Game on February 20, 2011, where she performed a medley of "Umbrella", "Only Girl (In the World)", "Rude Boy", "What's My Name?" (with Drake) and "All of the Lights" (with Kanye West).[150]

Rihanna performed "California King Bed" for first time in a country style, with Sugarland front woman Jennifer Nettles, during the ACM Awards held by Academy of Country Music on April 3, 2011.[151] She was a guest on the tenth season of US series American Idol, on April 14, 2011, where she performed "California King Bed".[152] Rihanna promoted "California King Bed" with performances in Milan, Paris and Hamburg, because Rihanna was appointed ambassador for Nivea skincare.[153][154] Rihanna opened the Billboard Music Awards, performing the remix of "S&M" with Britney Spears on May 22, 2011, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.[155] The performance attracted complaints about the overt sexual nature of broadcast on a publicly-owned television channel.[156] Rihanna performed on NBC's Today show on May 27, 2011 as part of a Summer Concert Series. She performed "S&M", "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?" and "California King Bed".[157]


Rihanna performing "S&M" on the Loud Tour, a performance similar to the one from the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.

To further promote Loud, Rihanna embarked on her fourth concert tour, the Loud Tour, in June 2011, having announced it on February 9, 2011.[158] The tour comprised 101 show dates, 32 in North America, 1 in Central America, 4 in South America and 64 in Europe.[159][160][161] Tickets sold well in the United Kingdom and some additional shows were added. She performed ten shows at London's O2 Arena.[162] Rihanna was interviewed by Ryan Seacrest on American Idol, and talked about the design of the stage, stating: "We've just designed the stage and we have a section that we are building... where the fans can actually be in the show and in the stage and be closer than they've ever been. It's real VIP."[163] The North American leg of the tour began on June 4, 2011 in Baltimore, United States.[164] Originally, J. Cole and Cee Lo Green were planned as support acts for the North American leg. However, Green left the tour citing schedule conflicts.[165] Rappers Drake, Kanye West and Jay-Z made guest appearances on some dates to perform their collaborations "What's My Name?", "Run This Town", "All of the Lights" and "Umbrella", respectively.[166][167]

On July 8, 2011 in Dallas, Texas, a fire broke out after Rihanna performed "California King Bed". The audience was evacuated and the concert was forced to end early.[168] Rihanna performed one show in Barbados and four in Brazil, before the European part of the tour, which began on September 29, 2011, in Belfast.[159] The tour has gained critical acclaim, some calling it "Rihanna's best tour yet". Jane Stevenson of the Toronto Sun commented that "...the two-hour, larger-than-life show lived up to the billing."[169] Jon Brean of the Minneapolis "Star Tribune" remarked, "The Barbadian singer is more visually and vocally dynamic than she has ever been before."[170]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "S&M"   Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm, Ester Dean StarGate, Sandy Vee 4:04
2. "What's My Name?" (featuring Drake) Hermansen, Eriksen, Dean, Traci Hale, Aubrey Graham StarGate 4:23
3. "Cheers (Drink to That)"   Andrew Harr, Jermaine Jackson, Stacey Barthe, Laura Pergolizzi, Corey Gibson, Chris Ivery, Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards, Avril Lavigne, Scott Spock The Runners 4:22
4. "Fading"   Jamal Jones, Dean Polow da Don 3:20
5. "Only Girl (In the World)"   Crystal Johnson, Eriksen, Hermansen, Wilhelm StarGate, Sandy Vee 3:55
6. "California King Bed"   Harr, Jackson, Priscilla Renea, Alex Delicata The Runners 4:12
7. "Man Down"   Shama Joseph, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas, Shontelle Layne Sham 4:27
8. "Raining Men" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Melvin Hough II, Rivelino Wouter, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas, Onika Maraj Mel & Mus 3:45
9. "Complicated"   Christopher Stewart, Dean C. "Tricky" Stewart, Ester Dean 4:18
10. "Skin"   Kenneth Coby, Ursula Yancy Soundz 5:04
11. "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)" (featuring Eminem) Alexander Grant, Holly Hafferman, Marshall Mathers Alex da Kid 4:56
Total length:

Release formats

Loud (Ultra Couture edition) [CD+DVD][175]
  • Deluxe cover art signed by Rihanna herself (lithograph)
  • Enhanced clear couture cover
  • Deluxe edition of Loud [CD+DVD]
  • "Making of Loud" video DVD
  • 20 page full size photobook
Loud (Couture edition) [CD+DVD][175]
  • Deluxe cover art lithograph
  • Enhanced clear couture cover
  • Deluxe edition of Loud [CD+DVD]
  • "Making of Loud" video DVD
  • 20 page full size photobook
Loud (Deluxe edition) [CD + DVD][175]
  • 11 track Loud album
  • Bonus DVD with the "Making of Loud" video
  • Packaged as a digipack instead of standard jewel case
iTunes version[176]
  • 11 track Loud album
  • "Love the Way You Lie" (Piano version) (Bonus track)
  • "Only Girl (In the World)" (Music video) (Bonus track)
  • "Only Girl (In the World) (Mixin' Marc & Tony Svejda Mix Show Edit)" (Pre-order only) (Bonus track)
  • Digital Booklet


Credits for Loud adapted from Allmusic.[177]


  • Rihanna – vocals, art direction, creative director, design, executive producer
  • Stacy Barthe – background vocals
  • Nuno Bettencourt – guitar
  • Alex Delicata – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Eminem – vocals
  • Eric England – bass
  • Tor Erik Hermansen – instrumentation
  • Cristyle Johnson – background vocals
  • Priscilla Renea – background vocals
  • Theron Thomas – background vocals


  • Camilla Akrans – photography
  • Veronika Bozeman – additional production, vocal producer
  • Leesa D. Brunson – A&R
  • Noel Cadastre – assistant vocal engineer
  • Bobby Campbell – assistant vocal engineer, mixing assistant
  • Ariel Chobaz – vocal recording
  • Cary Clark – engineer
  • Corey Shoemaker – engineer
  • Carol Corless – package production
  • Karin Darnell – make-up
  • Ester Dean – producer, background vocals
  • Mikkel S. Eriksen – engineer, instrumentation
  • Jesus Garnica – mixing assistant
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering
  • Josh Gudwin – vocal recording
  • Mariel Haenn – stylist
  • Alex Haldi – art direction, design
  • Inaam Haq – assistant vocal engineer
  • Kuk Harrell – vocal producer, vocal recording
  • Koby Hass Assistant – vocal engineer
  • Jaycen Joshua – mixing
  • Brandon Joner – assistant vocal engineer
  • Terese Joseph – A&R
  • JP Robinson – art direction, design
  • Rob Katz – assistant vocal engineer
  • Alex da Kid – engineer, producer
  • Karen Kwak – A&R
  • Damien Lewis – assistant engineer, engineer
  • Dane Liska – assistant vocal engineer
  • Erik Madrid – mixing assistant
  • Deborah Mannis-Gardner – sample clearance
  • Scott Marcus – A&R
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Dana Nielsen – engineer
  • Ben O'Neill – assistant engineer
  • Ciarra Pardo – art direction, creative director, design
  • Christian Plata – mixing assistant
  • Polow da Don – producer
  • Antonio "L.A." Reid – executive producer
  • Antonio Resendiz – assistant vocal engineer
  • Makeba Riddick – vocal producer
  • Evan Rogers – executive producer
  • Chad "C Note" Roper – engineer
  • The Runners – producer
  • Brad Shea – assistant vocal engineer
  • Noah Shebib – vocal recording
  • StarGate – producer
  • Ursula Stephen – hair stylist
  • Jay Stevenson – engineer
  • Christopher "Tricky" Stewart – producer
  • Mike Strange – vocal recording
  • Carl Sturken – executive producer
  • Phil Tan – mixing
  • Bu Thiam – A&R
  • Brian "B-Luv" Thomas – engineer
  • Marcos Tovar – mixing, vocal recording
  • Sandy Vee – engineer, instrumentation, mixing, producer
  • Jeff "Supa Jeff" Villanueva – engineer
  • Miles Walker – engineer
  • Kyle White Assistant – vocal engineer
  • Andrew Wuepper – engineer
  • Robert Zangardi – stylist


Weekly charts

Chart (2010–11) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[178] 2
Australian Urban Albums Chart[179] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[180] 3
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[181] 3
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[182] 2
Canadian Albums Chart[183] 1
Croatian International Album Chart[184] 14
Czech Republic Albums Chart[185] 12
Danish Albums Chart[186] 2
European Top 100 Albums[187] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[188] 7
French Albums Chart[189] 3
German Albums Chart[190] 2
Greek Albums Chart[191] 8
Hungarian Albums Chart[192] 6
Irish Albums Chart[193] 1
Italian Albums Chart[194] 11
Mexican Albums Chart[195] 17
Netherlands Albums Chart[71] 6
New Zealand Albums Chart[196] 4
Norwegian Albums Chart[197] 1
Portuguese Albums Chart[198] 10
Scottish Albums Chart[199] 1
Spanish Albums Chart[200] 6
Swedish Albums Chart[201] 15
Swiss Albums Chart[202] 1
UK Albums Chart[203] 1
UK R&B Albums Chart[204] 1
US Billboard 200[205] 3
US R&B/Hip Hop Albums[206] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Position
Irish Album Chart[207] 5
Netherlands Albums Chart[208] 83
Poland Albums Chart[209] 36
Swiss Albums Chart[210] 21
UK Albums Chart[211] 4


Region Certification
Australia 2× Platinum[212]
Austria Gold[213]
Belgium Platinum[214]
Brazil Gold[215]
Canada 3× Platinum[216]
Denmark Platinum[217]
Europe 2× Platinum[218]
France Platinum[77]
GCC Gold[219]
Germany Platinum[220]
Hungary Gold[221]
Italy Gold[222]
Ireland 5× Platinum[223]
Japan Gold[224]
New Zealand Platinum[225]
Poland 3× Platinum[226]
Russia Gold[227]
Sweden Platinum[228]
Switzerland 2× Platinum[229]
United Kingdom 5× Platinum[85]
United States Platinum[70]


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications
"Only Girl (In the World)" 2010 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 1
"What's My Name?"
(featuring Drake)
18 13 5 16 12 3 3 13 1 1
"Raining Men"
(featuring Nicki Minaj)
"S&M" 2011 1 4 1 3 2 3 2 2 3 1
"California King Bed" 4 4 20 30 8 11 4 10 8 37
"Man Down" 63 1 9 54 59
"Cheers (Drink to That)" 6 6 64 16 5 66 15 7
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Release history

Region Date Format Edition Label
Australia[247] November 12, 2010 CD, CD+DVD Standard, deluxe Universal Music
Ireland[249] Digital download Standard
Netherlands[250] CD
France[251] November 15, 2010 CD, CD+DVD Standard, deluxe
New Zealand[252]
Philippines[254] MCA Music Phils.
United Kingdom[255] CD Standard Mercury Records
Mexico[256] November 16, 2010 Universal Music
United States[257] CD, CD+DVD, digital download Standard, deluxe Def Jam Recordings
United States[258] CD+DVD Deluxe (Couture edition)
Poland[259] November 19, 2010 CD Standard Universal Music
Brazil[260] November 30, 2010
Japan[261][262] January 19, 2011


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