Rihanna is one of the biggest stars in the world, yet the pronunciation of her name is baffling some people. As BuzzFeed News reported, you may not be saying her name as correctly as you first thought. In case you’re wondering, it’s REE-ANNA, and not REE-AH-NA. The singer recently said her name in a video for British Vogue and was heard calling herself REE-ANNA, which has caused international debate across the Internet.
The whole Internet meltdown first started after Rihanna said her name in an introductory clip for her Fenty collection pop-up in Paris. Smiling at the camera, she said, “Hello British Vogue, it’s Rihanna and I want to welcome you to Paris where I’m launching Fenty.”
First look at @Rihanna's Fenty collection at her pop-up in Paris: https://t.co/KU0Uqg8Vlt pic.twitter.com/dseHhqadQu— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) May 23, 2019
She pronounced her name as REE-ANNA — which is definitely not how people in the US have been saying it. According to BuzzFeed, people in other countries have been saying it right along.
However, how is it possible for Americans to have been mispronouncing her name all this time? It’s probably because Rihanna herself has pronounced it both ways at various times. For example, her song, “B**ch Better Have My Money” there is lyrics where she says, “Turn up to Rihanna while the whole club f**king wasted” but in that instance she pronounces it REE-AH-NA.
While it’s possible that she was going for something that sounded phonetically pleasing, there’s also that time in 2016 at the VMAs when Drake presented her with the MTV Video Vanguard award. He pronounced her name as REE-AH-NA. And Drake and Rihanna were close friends as well as collaborators on several projects, so one would assume that he’d know how to correctly pronounce her name, right?
.@rihanna pic.twitter.com/xN2oBt52GA— THE HOOD ORACLE (@emoblackthot) May 30, 2019
I don’t get it who isn’t pronouncing Rihanna like this? https://t.co/jm9hjiXFey— kelela’s cousin (@falashalights) May 30, 2019
Fans across Twitter have been sharing their thoughts on the matter. Over all, it seems that most of the international contingency is wondering why her name pronunciation is news at all.
How else have people been pronouncing Rihanna? I’m looking at the comments and still not understanding how anyone could get this wrong.— Stefanie Mundy (@Stefanie16687) May 30, 2019
One fan from Germany reacted to the BuzzFeed article saying, “How else have people been pronouncing Rihanna? I’m looking at the comments and still not understanding how anyone could get this wrong.”
“But we in the Caribbean been pronouncing it like this always. What do y’all say?” another fan asked.
Meanwhile a third person chimed in, “Everyone except Americans knew they were pronouncing Rihanna’s name wrong this whole time.”
Everyone except Americans knew they were pronouncing Rihanna’s name wrong this whole time.— April (@aprilknight) May 30, 2019
So which is correct? Elle recently pointed out that Rihanna has been telling us the correct way to pronounce her name for years — and it’s indeed REE-ANNA, based off the interview she did back in 2015 with AJ Hammer.
In the video about the two-minute mark, Hammer tells Rihanna that when they first met in 2005, she introduced herself as REE-ANNA. He then followed up the statement with the question to set the record straight for fans, to which she said, “It’s REE-ANNA.”
Doesn’t seem like there’s anything to question further.