CALIFORNIA, United States, Thursday November 26, 2015 – After three years, countless rumours, and enough red herrings to feed the five thousand, Barbados’ pop princess Rihanna is reportedly on course to release her eighth studio album tomorrow.
According to music industry sources, the album, entitled ANTI, is set to make its debut exclusively on the Tidal streaming service on Black Friday, with wider distribution, including both hard and digital copies, taking place the following week on December 4.
Rihanna’s allegiance with Tidal should come as no surprise: the singer was part of its official launch and has premiered her American Oxygen music video via the streaming service, which is the brainchild of her friend and mentor Jay Z.
ANTI marks Rihanna’s first album since 2012’s Unapologetic and will presumably include American Oxygen as well as the singles Bitch Better Have My Money and FourFiveSeconds, the latter featuring the album’s executive producer Kanye West and legendary Beatles superstar Sir Paul McCartney.
Rihanna announced ANTI at the unveiling of the album’s artwork at a Los Angeles art gallery six weeks ago.
The cover features a picture of Rihanna as a child, with a crown covering her eyes. Superimposed on the image is a poem by Chloë Mitchell, written in braille, whose work has previously been used by Kanye West.
Speaking at the launch of the cover in October, Rihanna said: “The whole idea behind the braille is that people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest.”
Teasing the release of the album, Rihanna launched an interactive website called ANTIdiaRy in conjunction with Samsung, with whom she recently inked a deal for $25 million, according to hotnewhiphop.com.
The 27-year-old megastar has also announced that she is heading out on a world tour, Rolling Stone reports.
Rihanna tweeted the news that the ANTI World Tour will kick off next year. Beginning in February, the tour will take in various US cities including San Diego, Dallas, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago before heading across the Atlantic for the two-month European leg of the tour.
Accompanying the multiple Grammy award-winner on the ANTI World Tour will be rumoured romantic interest Travis Scott, as well as Big Sean and The Weeknd.
Meanwhile, Rihannah’s former boyfriend Chris Brown is set to release his latest album Royalty (named after his baby daughter) on the same day Rihanna’s ANTI will hit Tidal — Friday November 27.
Since Brown’s album is a full release from the start, industry observers believe he’ll take the lead on the charts and Rihanna will secure her place the following week once her album goes wide on December 4.
This superstar clash comes hot on the heels of Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber and British boy band One Direction releasing their respective latest albums on Friday November 13.