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Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ tops Hot 100 ‘Unapologetic’ to debut big

LOS ANGELES, Nov 22, (RTRS): R&B star Rihanna scored her 12th chart-topping single on the Billboard Hot 100 on Wednesday, as her seventh studio album “Unapologetic” raced toward a big debut after its release this week.
Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” the lead single from “Unapologetic,” notched the top spot on the Hot 100, tying the Barbadian singer with Madonna and The Supremes for the fourth-most chart-topping singles in Billboard history.
Only Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and The Beatles have had more hit singles.
The 24-year-old singer has just wrapped up a seven-day mini-tour across seven world cities to promote “Unapologetic,” her seventh studio album, which was released on Monday and shot to the top of the iTunes album charts in 43 countries despite garnering mixed reviews.
“Unapologetic” scored 65 out of 100 on review aggregator site, with some critics unsettled by the singer’s harder sound and close-to-home lyrics. Others have embraced it.
The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica called Rihanna’s latest “one of her best albums yet,” adding that the singer’s presence made her “without peer when it comes to her image, which is steely and unforgiving and bulletproof.”

But BBC Music’s Natalie Shaw found the album a difficult listen, calling it “the sound of a human dragged headfirst into a breakdown,” and criticizing the singer for using “pop music to inadvertently condone abuse.”
The track that Shaw refers to and has everyone talking is Rihanna’s collaboration with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who was charged with assaulting her three years ago.
In a 90’s pop-inspired track called “Nobody’s Business,” the singers further fuel speculation that they have rekindled their romance, singing lyrics such as “your love is perfection” and “you’ll always be mine.”
Critics have found more evidence of Rihanna drawing on her tumultuous relationship with Brown on “Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary,” which follows “Nobody’s Business” on the album. In it, Rihanna sings “felt like love struck me in the night,” and makes references to “one drive, injured us fatally,” possibly alluding to the night Brown assaulted her.

Rolling Stone magazine’s Jon Dolan gave “Unapologetic” three and a half out of five stars, noting that Brown was “like a co-writer throughout.”
Rihanna made sure to capitalize on the success of her biggest hit to date, last year’s Calvin Harris electro-dance production “We Found Love.” On “Unapologetic,” the singer brings French DJ David Guetta on “Right Now,” a thumping dance track.
The singer also reteamed with rapper Eminem on “Numb,” following their 2010 hit song “Love The Way You Lie.” Unlike the emotional content of domestic abuse on their previous collaboration, the Barbadian singer and Detroit rapper lightened the tone for “Numb,” singing about love in the club scene.
The songstress also softened up for two intimate piano-led ballads, “What Now” and “Stay,” in which she recruited newcomer singer Mikkey Ekko for an stripped-down performance, using the opportunity to showcase her voice.

British boyband One Direction made Billboard chart history on Wednesday after storming to the top of the 200 album chart with their second album “Take Me Home,” holding off competition from Christina Aguilera, Soundgarden and Lana Del Rey.
“Take Me Home” notched the third-biggest opening week sales of the year with 540,000 units sold according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, placing it behind only Mumford & Son’s “Babel” and Taylor Swift’s “Red,” which had the year’s biggest opening with 1.2 million copies sold.
This is also the first time a British band have seen their first two albums debut at the top of the US Billboard 200 chart. Their first album “Up All Night” shot to the top of the chart with 176,000 copies in March this year.

The lead single from “Take Me Home,” “Live While We’re Young” also made Billboard chart history after selling 341,000 copies in its first week, becoming the biggest opening week single sales for a non-US artist.
One Direction were able to trump a new release from pop star and “The Voice” judge Aguilera, who debuted at No. 7 with her fifth studio album “Lotus,” selling 73,000 copies.
She was unable to replicate the success of fellow “Voice” judge Adam Levine, whose band Maroon 5 shot to No. 2 on the album chart in July with “Overexposed,” selling 222,000 copies.
The members of the British-Irish quintet One Direction, aged between 18 and 20, are Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne. They have come a long way since forming on Britain’s “The X Factor,” coming in third place and going on to conquer the US and build a devoted following of fans.
Their success has also piqued the curiosity of interviewer Barbara Walters, who will be speaking to the band for her annual “The 10 Most Fascinating People,” airing on ABC on Dec 12.
The band will face stiff competition from R&B star Rihanna for the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart next week, as her new album “Unapologetic” is set for a big debut.
Elsewhere on the album chart, seven new debuts entered the top 10 this week.
Taylor Swift’s “Red” was knocked down to No. 2 by One Direction’s debut, while the soundtrack for the final “Twilight” film, “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” debuted at No. 3 with sales of 93,000 after the film hit theaters last week.

The soundtrack features lead single “The Forgotten” by Green Day and songs by Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, Fiest and a duet between “Twilight” cast member Nikki Reed and husband Paul McDonald, a former “American Idol” finalist.
Canadian R&B star The Weeknd landed at No. 4 this week with his hotly anticipated debut, “Trilogy,” while 1990s grunge rock band Soundgarden rounded out the top five with “King Animal,” their first album in 16 years.
Green Day’s “Dos!,” the second installment of their trilogy of new albums this year, came in at No. 9 on the chart with 69,000 copies, a big drop from their first album “Uno!,” which debuted at No. 2 in October with sales of 139,000 copies. The third installment, “Tre!,” is due out on Dec 11.
Indie-pop songstress Del Rey rounded out the top ten with her latest studio set “Paradise,” an eight-song record which was also offered as part of a deluxe edition of her debut album “Born To Die,” which notched No. 2 on the chart in February.


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