R&B singer Rihanna made her first public appearance in the nude when racy photos that she apparently had taken herself leaked onto the Internet. Now she makes it official with a topless pose on the cover of the upcoming issue of GQ magazine.
Since she was brutally beaten in February by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, the Barbados-born beauty has come back with a vengeance. She has a new album out, a couple of new videos, and looks hotter than ever.
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Her latest video, “Hard,” premieres this Thursday at 4 p.m. on MTV and VH1.
Rihanna is also opening up about the events surrounding that dark night in her life and talking, she says, helps her get over it.
“The physical pain comes and it goes,” she adds. “The bruises fade away. But the thing that stays with you is the emotional scars.”
For a time, the brutal assault tarnished her pop-princess image and some were concerned whether it would permanently damage her career. But she makes it clear that she has moved on.
“I wanted people to move on with me,” she continues, “’cause the last big thing they know about me is That Night. And I don’t want that to be what people define me as.”
Her latest album Rated R, is the first since the assault, and although it has a darker, edgier sound than her previous work, it’s also part of the healing process.
“Really just music, and working,” she said, helped make the difference in her comeback. “I didn’t really want to be around anybody, for them to stare at me and stuff, and feel sorry for me.
The 21-year-old singer hopes her new album will inspire other women suffering from domestic abuse to stand up for themselves and get out of harmful relationships – especially those victims who might be blaming themselves.
“That’s part of the insight that I wanna give,” Rihanna says. “Stop blaming yourself for that outcome. There’s nothing you can do, ever, to excuse a man’s behavior like that.”
“It’s relieving,” she said, “because it was built up for so long, and all these thoughts and emotions have been running through my mind for the past eight months. And now it’s like I finally get to let go and move on.”
The “Russian Roulette” singer insists she doesn’t hate her ex-boyfriend, who she is banned from having contact with under the terms of his sentence for assaulting her. She believes he will learn from his mistakes.
“I can’t see myself never speaking to him again. There’s emotion there. I think it’s possible to change,” she said.
The 21-year-old star also admits she is “embarrassed” that she had such strong feelings for Brown following the brutal attack, which left her covered in bruises and cuts.
“It’s embarrassing that I fell in love with that person. He was my first big love and the more in love we became, the more dangerous we became for one another,” she told Glamour magazine:
Rihanna reconciled with Brown, briefly, afterwards, but has since admitted was a mistake.
“Love doesn’t go away easily,” she said.
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