'Don't Stop the Music'
'Don't Stop the Music' combines a dance beat with vocal samples from Michael Jackson's 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'.' The song's techno influences are reminiscent of European-style dance music; fittingly, it reached the Top 5 in several countries across Europe while hitting No. 2 on the US pop chart. The track from 2007's 'Good Girl Gone Bad' earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording.
The first single from her 2006 album 'A Girl Like Me,' 'SOS' became Rihanna's first No. 1 hit on the singles chart. The infectious dance song heavily samples Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love' and makes clever lyrical references to Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer,' Modern English's 'I Melt With You,' a-ha's 'Take on Me' and Kim Wilde's 'You Keep Me Hanging On,' among others.
'Umbrella' Feat. Jay-Z
For many listeners, 'Umbrella' was the song that defined 2007, the tune that got the most radio airplay that year. The song opens with a cameo from rapper Jay-Z, but it's the repetitive "Under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh eh eh" chorus that gets stuck in your head. 'Umbrella' gave Rihanna her first Grammy Award, capturing the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration trophy.
'Pon de Replay'
Growing up in Barbados, Rihanna was mostly exposed to reggae and hip-hop, and she combined those elements on her debut single 'Pon de Replay.' The success of the Caribbean-flavored dance song and its 2005 album 'Music of the Sun' made Rihanna a household name at age 17, mere months after she was signed by Jay-Z to Def Jam.
'Live Your Life' Feat. Rihanna
T.I.'s 2008 hit 'Live Your Life' became an anthem of sorts, advising listeners to ignore the haters and "keep on getting your paper," as Rihanna sings in a soaring verse. Built around a sample from the Moldovan pop song 'Dragostea din tei,' 'Live Your Life' jumped directly from No. 80 to No. 1, at the time the largest jump to the top spot in the history of the Hot 100 chart.
'Take a Bow'
R&B balladeer Ne-Yo had already worked with Rihanna on 'Unfaithful' and 'Hate That I Love You' before co-writing 'Take a Bow,' a piano ballad about infidelity where she calmly sings, "Don't tell me you're sorry cause you're not / When I know you're only sorry you got caught." The song was co-written and produced by the production team of the moment, StarGate.
'Love the Way You Lie' Feat. Rihanna
Rihanna's team-up with Eminem on 'Love the Way You Lie' is one of 2010's biggest summer hits. Even though the rapper wrote the song, Rihanna says she feels a special connection to it because the song sensitively tackles the issue of domestic abuse. Her relaxed delivery provides the contrast to Eminem's intense, aggressive verses on the track, which shot to No. 1 shortly after its release.
Co-written by Rihanna's then-boyfriend Chris Brown with a team of others, including up-and-coming producer Brian Kennedy, 'Disturbia' features mildly creepy lyrics with an electro beat that turns it into a dance floor favorite. The song was one of three new tracks added to the 2008 re-release of 'Good Girl Gone Bad' and became Rihanna's fourth No. 1 single overall and third from that album.
Rihanna returns to her Caribbean roots in a sense with 'Rude Boy,' a song whose title represents an old Jamaican term for a juvenile delinquent. The song blends ska and dancehall influences with a swagger not seen in much of Rihanna's previous work. The 2010 single from 'Rated R' became her fifth No. 1 single.
Just a year after Amy Winehouse scored big with 'Rehab,' Rihanna issued a single with the same name but with a much different meaning. "It's like I checked into rehab, and baby you're my disease," Rihanna sings despondently over background vocals from Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, who co-wrote the track. The dramatic performance tops our list of the Top Rihanna Songs.