Top 10 Rihanna Music Videos of Her Career

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Rihanna featuring Jay-Z - "Umbrella" (2007)

Rihanna Umbrella
Rihanna featuring Jay-Z - "Umbrella". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Chris Applebaum

To accompany Rihanna's #1 smash hit single "Umbrella," Chris Applebaum put together a music video including special visual effects that appear like arcs of silvery water as well as Rihanna in silver body paint. The music video was well received and earned an MTV Video Music Awards honor for Video of the Year. "Umbrella" spent seven weeks at #1 in the US and earned Grammy Award nominations for Song and Record of the Year.

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Rihanna - "Disturbia" (2008)

Rihanna Disturbia
Rihanna - "Disturbia". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Anthony Mandler and Rihanna

Rihanna's dark single "Disturbia" was illustrated in the music video by a sort of surreal torture chamber presided over by Rihanna herself. A wide range of horror imagery including a gas chamber and an electric chair are featured. Jittery jump cuts in the video also add to the disturbing atmosphere. Rihanna co-directed the music video with her long-term collaborator Anthony Mandler. "Disturbia" became Rihanna's fourth #1 pop hit single in the US.

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Rihanna - "Rude Boy" (2010)

Rihanna Rude Boy
Rihanna - "Rude Boy". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Melina Matsoukas

"Rude Boy" is Rihanna's second consecutive music video directed by Melina Matsoukas. She also directed "Hard," the immediate predecessor single. The bright colors throughout the clip drew comparisons to art work by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, M.I.A., and others. The "Rude Boy" music video earned an MTV Video Music Awards nomination for Best Editing. The song "Rude Boy" became Rihanna's sixth #1 pop hit single in the US.

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Rihanna and Eminem - "Love the Way You Lie" (2010)

Rihanna Eminem Love the Way You Lie
Rihanna and Eminem - "Love the Way You Lie". Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Joseph Kahn.

The music video for Rihanna's superstar collaboration with rapper Eminem on "Love the Way You Lie" was directed by Joseph Kahn, one of the most celebrated of music video directors. Among his previous successes were Britney Spears' "Toxic" and Katy Perry's "Waking Up In Vegas." For "Love the Way You Lie," the music video tells a dramatic story of domestic violence. Rihanna and Eminem are featured together in front of a burning house. Both artists have previous life experience with domestic violence. The music video generated controversy, but many praised it for drawing attention to the issues depicted. "Love the Way You Lie" spent seven weeks at #1 on the US pop chart, the video earned four nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards, and the song was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year Grammy Awards.

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Rihanna - "Only Girl (In the World)" (2010)

Rihanna Only Girl In the World
Rihanna - "Only Girl (In the World)". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Anthony Mandler

Rihanna returned to working with Anthony Mandler for the "Only Girl (In the World)" music video. In keeping with the song title, Rihanna is the only person in the clip. The entire music video is bathed in red. It was praised for being whimsical and beautiful after darker music videos accompanying Rihanna's album Rated R. "Only Girl (In the World)" became Rihanna's ninth #1 pop hit single. It won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. 

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Rihanna featuring Drake - "What's My Name?" (2010)

Rihanna What's My Name
Rihanna featuring Drake - "What's My Name". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Philip Andelman

Prior to directing "What's My Name?" for Rihanna, Philip Andelman worked with artists such as Beyonce, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez. For "What's My Name?" he put together a straightforward slice of life music video co-starring Drake. The song soared to #1 on the US pop chart actually hitting #1 before "Only Girl (In the World)" even though it was released after. That makes it Rihanna's eighth #1 pop hit single and Drake's first.

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Rihanna - "S&M" (2011)

Rihanna S & M
Rihanna - "S&M". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Melina Matsoukas

The music video for "S&M" remains one of Rihanna's most controversial both for its subject matter and a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by photographer David LaChapelle. Director Melina Matsoukas claims the "S&M" video is not just about the sexual components, but also about Rihanna's "sadomasochistic relationship with the press." Blogger Perez Hilton appears at the end of a dog leash. David LaChapelle claimed that the music video infringed on eight copyrighted photos he created between 1997 and 2010. The case was ultimately settled out of court. "S&M" became Rihanna's tenth #1 hit single in the US. 

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Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris - "We Found Love" (2011)

Rihanna We Found Love
Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris - "We Found Love". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Melina Matsoukas

The music video for "We Found Love" is an elegantly filmed depiction of a self-destructive relationship filled with images related to drugs and domestic violence. Musical collaborator Calvin Harris appears briefly as a DJ and Rihanna's love interest is portrayed by British actor and model Dudley O'Shaughnessy. The music video earned praise for its gritty story, but it also drew controversy for the explicit content. "We Found Love" spent ten weeks at #1 in the US and was Rihanna's eleventh chart-topping hit. The music video earned a Grammy Award for Best Short-Form Music Video.

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Rihanna - "Where Have You Been" (2012)

Rihanna Where Have You Been
Rihanna - "Where Have You Been". Courtesy Def Jam

Directed by Dave Meyers

Rihanna worked with veteran music video director Dave Meyers, a frequent collaborator with Pink, for "Where Have You Been." It features some of Rihanna's most extensive dancing ever in a music video. It also is notable for Rihanna channeling Hindu imagery of the god Shiva. The "Where Have You Been" music video earned MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best Choreography and Best Visual Effects. The song peaked at #5 in the US and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance. 

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Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney - "FourFiveSeconds" (2015)

Rihanna FourFiveSeconds
Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney - "FourFiveSeconds". Courtesy Roc Nation

Directed by Inez and Vinoodh

"FourFiveSeconds" is a superstar collaboration between three towering artists in pop music. Rihanna and Kanye West share vocals in the song. Dutch photography duo Inez and Vinoodh directed the music video. They previously directed Lady Gaga's "Applause." The black and white style of the clip was compared to the work of photographer Herb Ritts. "FourFiveSeconds" peaked at #4 on the US pop singles chart.

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