Barbados beauty and hip-hop star Rihanna took to the sunny shores of Singapore for our annual (and probably the biggest event of the year) Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix! She performed on race night, and took the stage just moments after Sebastian Vettel’s mighty victory. Emotions and adrenaline were high as Rihanna adorned the stage with her swag-a-licious presence. With us parked right in front row, Riri shrugged herself on stage with bass-heavy opener “Phresh Out On The Runway” which definitely psyched up the crowd with her nonchalant shuffle-esque dance moves and her dark shades shielding her from the glaring F1 night race flood lights. The first few songs were a blur, and even sounded like a long continuous song at times. Rihanna’s stage presence is like nothing that any other star has. The only word that can be chosen to describe it, is “swag”.

Rihanna gets up on stage, and she’s truly fearless — it comes across in every movement she makes. 

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Hits like “Only Girl In The World”, “Rude Boy” and “Where Have You Been” stole the show, with their high energy and bumping hooks raising the nonexistent roof off its hinges. Songs off of her latest album effort “Unapologetic” got lost in the high energy of her many well-known tunes, and got a little boring at moments during the show.

Her stage set was rather disappointing, consisting merely a small staircase and a few other bits and pieces to (only slightly) add to the production. It was a far cry from her BFF Katy Perry’s stage last year which was more colourful, diverse, and impressive. Had there been more effort placed into the production of the show from Rihanna’s team, the concert would have been pushed into greatness. Rihanna is a powerhouse vocalist. Her vocal ability is a highly-debated topic, but she really has improved leaps and bounds since her first hit “Pon De Replay.” Rihanna would be a much better singer if she would actually sing her own songs. An irritating habit that she has is letting her voice trail off, after deciding not to finish her sentences or even words.

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She also shortens her songs during her performance. She’ll sing one or two verses and a chorus, then call it quits. Fans clearly would’ve loved to hear the full version of songs like “Take a Bow” but unfortunately, the songstress didn’t provide that night and left fans wanting for more. All in all, Rihanna gave a decent performance with her slew of hits and incredible stage presence. Unfortunately, she didn’t use her voice to the best of its abilities and could have spent more time revising her set list and stage set.

Rihanna Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix Set List: 1. Phresh Out The Runway 2. Birthday Cake 3. Talk That Talk 4. Pour It Up 5. Cockiness 6. Numb 7. You Da One 8. Man Down 9. No Love Allowed 10. What’s My Name? 11. Umbrella 12. All Of The Lights 13. Rockstar 101 14. What Now 15. Take A Bow/Cold Case Love 16. Hate That I Love You 17. We Found Love 18. S&M/Only Girl In The World/Don’t Stop The Music 19. Where Have You Been —- Encore —- 20. Stay 21. Diamonds