In Vogue’s June issue, the 30-year-old superstar opened up about everything from Drake’s“uncomfortable” love profession during the 2016 MTV VMAs, to her girl crush on Lisa Vanderpump, to what it really means to be a savage.
We broke down the most thrilling parts of Rihanna’s cover story — available on newstands in New York and Los Angeles May 15, and nationwide May 22 — into 11 juicy nuggets below.
On Drake’s Profession of Love
“The VMAs is such a fan-focused awards show, so having that energy around me, and knowing the people who had received the award in the past, made it feel like a big deal,” Rihanna said. “Waiting through that speech was probably the most uncomfortable part. I don’t like too many compliments; I don’t like to be put on blast.”
When asked about the current state of her friendship with Drake, Rihanna said, “We don’t have a friendship now, but we’re not enemies either. It is what it is.”
On Her Current Relationship
Rihanna rarely discusses her love life, but based on paparazzi pictures alone, it’s not hard to tell she’s head-over-heels for Hassan Jameel, the young Saudi businessman with whom she’s often seen on vacation.
“I used to feel guilty about taking personal time, but I also think I never met someone who was worth it before,” she said. “Even mentally, just to be away from my phone, to be in the moment, that has been key for my growth. Now, when I come to work, I’m all in. Because before you know it, the years will go by. I’m glad I’m taking the time. I’m happy.”
On Her Biggest Girl Crush
“Tell me who is a badder bitch than Lisa Vanderpump! She’s goals AF!” Rihanna said. “She’s chic but still funny. She likes to be at home with her husband and then goes and handles her business. Maybe there’s a couple of thousand Birkins in her closet, but she’s still focused. I love that about her.”
On Her Body
“You’ve just got to laugh at yourself, honestly. I mean, I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight. I accept all of the bodies,” Rihanna said. “I’m not built like a Victoria’s Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie.”
On Being a Savage
“Savage is really about taking complete ownership of how you feel and the choices you make,” Rihanna said. “Basically making sure everybody knows the ball is in your court. As women, we’re looked at as the needy ones, the naggy ones, the ones who are going to be heartbroken in a relationship. Savage is just the reverse. And you know, guys don’t like getting the cards flipped on them — ever.”
On Being a Role Model
“That title was put on me when I was just finding my way, making mistakes in front of the world,” she said. “I didn’t think it was fair. Now I understand the concept, but at that time I was the same age as the girls who were looking up to me. And that’s a really hard place to be in as a teenager.”
“I’m not gonna be able to take my eyes off my kid. I know that already about myself,” she said. “They’re going to have to force me to hire a nanny.”
On Her Cousin’s Death
The day after Christmas 2017, Rihanna’s 21-year-old cousin, Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne, lost his life in a shooting.
“I really hugged my cousin the night before he died; I didn’t know why,” she said. “Now each time I hug somebody lately, I hug them like it’s the last time. That may be my biggest life lesson, not to wait on anything, not even tomorrow. Tomorrow is too late in my opinion.”
On Her Fenty Beauty Foundation Coming In 40 Skin Tones
“As a black woman, I could not live with myself if I didn’t do that,” Rihanna said. “But what I didn’t anticipate was the way people would get emotional about finding their complexion on the shelf, that this would be a groundbreaking moment.”
On Her Favorite Reggae Artist
Rihanna is gearing up to release her ninth studio record, which she says will be a reggae album.
“I’m gonna sound like a real tourist when I tell you my top Bob [Marley] songs,” she said. “‘Three Little Birds,’ ‘No Woman, No Cry,’ and ‘Redemption Song.'”
Rihanna says “Buffalo Soldier” is the one that resonates with her on a deeply personal level.
On Growing Up in Barbados
“I basically grew up in paradise,” she said. “I mean, people save for their whole lives to go on vacation there, and it’s easy to take that for granted.”