Body Positivity by Isabella Weiner June 26, 2019
Newly minted superstar Lizzo performed her hit “Truth Hurts” at the BET Awards on Sunday, complete with a giant wedding cake, bridal attire, and a mid-song flute solo, and the Internet couldn’t help but notice one very enthusiastic fan in the crowd: Rihanna.
Rihanna watching Lizzo is a MOOD #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/p9YQhUmxIG
— Nicole Perez (@nicole_perez1) June 24, 2019
That’s right. Rihanna, whose boredom at award shows has been well-documented over the years — the “Needed Me” singer brought a flask to the 2017 Grammy Awards just to get through the thing, and was this bored at the 2013 VMA’s — jumped out of her seat mid-performance and enthusiastically clapped and nodded along.
Rihanna’s nod of approval when she’s twerking with the flute is sending me, Lizzo is everything https://t.co/YGSGy04FRH
— gaby lee (@gabylee__) June 24, 2019
And you can be sure that Lizzo took note of the superstar’s support.
That’s it… that’s the tweet 🤷🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/ZgbPMcXwJw
— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) June 24, 2019
The mutual respect has fans clamoring for a Rihanna-Lizzo collab.
Rihanna just gave Lizzo her approval. I smell a Fenty collab coming soon
— terri from soul food (@Ty_NoCreator) June 24, 2019
Even though Rihanna hasn’t released any new music since 2016’s ANTI, and has focused on her extremely popular Fenty makeup, fashion and lingerie lines, her fans still haven’t given up hope.
Rih even jokingly acknowledged her fans’ ceaseless request for more music.
View this post on Instagram
But on a more serious note in a recent interview with the NYT, she noted that her fans have “haunted” her about releasing new music, stamping “R9” (a reference to what would be her ninth studio album) into her brain.
Luckily for her ravenous navy of music fans, Rihanna has promised the new album in 2019.
🚨 #R9 alert: Rihanna confirmed on Instagram that her new album is dropping in 2019 🚨 pic.twitter.com/oSPfEqbhA9
— Rihanna News (@TeamOfRihanna) December 22, 2018
Lizzo, meanwhile, has been making music for the last 10 years, but 2019 has proven to be her breakout.
Finally, her exuberant songs, containing messages of body positivity, self-love and confidence– her most famous line is probably “I just took a DNA Test/ Turns out I’m 100% that bitch”– have connected with a mass audience.
Rihanna herself has recently emerged as a figure preaching body positivity, embracing her new “thicc” figure in a history-making British Vogue cover story.
Ahead of her BET Awards performance, Lizzo expressed her excitement about making it to the stage, at a venue that holds a special significance for her.
“This is a big deal to me because I’ve been doing music for a long ass time… But to play for black people, my people… I’ve been making music as a big black woman for big black women. And so now this just shows that my music is finally reaching the black community and I’m just so excited to just share with my people today.”
Similar to Rihanna’s navy, Lizzo’s fans are already demanding new music. She jokingly responded, “I just put out an album! Damn!” However, she did admit, “I’ve been doing something strange for a little piece of change, aka going in the studio and making music.”
Plus, now, we know that Rihanna’s also been in the studio working on R9, judging from this post from her close friend and project manager Jennifer Rosales.
View this post on Instagram
When tia @badgalriri gives you the first listen 😎. #newmusic
In the same, wide-ranging NYT interview, Rihanna shot down rumors of collaborating with Lady Gaga and Drake for R9, although she said she’s “not against” working with Gaga.
But she forcefully asserted that she would not be releasing a song with her on-and-off love Drake “anytime soon.”
She’s also been tight-lipped about her progress, the album’s genre (is it reggae?) and even its title. But one thing’s for sure, we need to hear Rihanna and Lizzo on a song together.
If not on R9, maybe on R10 — or maybe on Lizzo’s next smash.