6. “ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD)” (36.93)
SOLO – LOUD (2010)
YouTube 7.29 Hot 100 10 Sales 9.14 Streams 2.5 Quality 8
Following Rated R, Rihanna was somewhat at a crossroads. While that album featured the #1 single “Rude Boy,” none of the album’s other singles captured the zeitgeist in ways her previous singles did. So for her first single off of Loud, Rihanna blew up her sound. “Only Girl (In the World)” is her first true EDM explosion, a pummeling synth-based banger that immediately landed at #1 on the Hot 100 following its release. “Only Girl” announced Rihanna was officially back as a radio behemoth, and in many ways, she’s been riding the high of her Loud lead single ever since; her next three lead singles (“We Found Love,” “Diamonds,” “Work”) all led the Hot 100 at some point, too.
5. “WORK” (40.53)
FEATURING DRAKE – ANTI (2016)
YouTube 10.46 Hot 100 10 Sales 3.65 Streams 8.92 Quality 7.5
The three-and-a-half year gulf between 2012’s Unapologetic and 2016’s Anti felt particularly long, as we had become conditioned into expecting an album a year from the superstar. The public was hungry for anything from Rihanna, and while she could have teamed with Drake for “Baby Shark” and went straight to #1, that “Work” is as vital and kinetic as it is was just icing. The two are at the peak of their fame at this point and sound rightfully at home, as comfortable as we’ve heard them on record. Who ever said work couldn’t be fun?