Last night’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) was all about Barbados-born pop star extraordinaire Rihanna (aka Riri). Long-time
boyfriend friend and colleague Drake presented Rihanna with the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award for her outstanding musical accomplishments over the past 11 years and she’s not even 30 yet! The Bajan singer performed four separate medleys celebrating various genres throughout the show.
During his speech Drake professed his love for Rihanna and he looked like he was about to drop on one knee and pop that question:
“The first time I met Robyn Fenty was 2005,” Drake began his introduction, using RiRi’s birth name. “She was shooting a music video at a restaurant called Avocado in Toronto. The song was ‘Pon de Replay’ and the director of the video was Little X. I was introduced to her as a kid who played background music at the restaurant as people ate their dinner. It’s hard to believe that 11 years later all three of us would come together for a visual for a song called ‘Work.’ Today, the world knows Little X as Director X. They know me as Drake and not the kid singing while you order pasta. But 11 years later, we still all know Rihanna as the one and only Rihanna.” ~Drake
Drake went on to declare that Rihanna is “someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old.” Despite Drake’s professed love for the Bajan bombshell, he missed their scheduled performance of the mega hit song “Work” because he was allegedly stuck in traffic. Thank God he made it in time to lovingly present her with the Vanguard Award.
PHOTO CREDIT: Dawn, DHStyle
Upon accepting the award, Rihanna kissed Drake but didn’t respond to his loving remarks. Instead, Rihanna took the time to acknowledge the fact that this was the first time a Vanguard Award had been anywhere near the island of Barbados. She also acknowledged significance of her success for the Caribbean as a whole and black women. Yes, she never tries to downplay her Caribbean heritage or her distinctly Bajan cadence.
“My success—it started as my dream, but now my success is not my own. It’s my family’s, it’s my fans’, it’s my country’s, it’s the Caribbean’s as a whole, it’s women, it’s black women,” ~Rihanna
Rihanna performed four times last night and one of the sets was a distinctly dancehall performance. I think the whole of Caribbean NYC was on stage with Riri during the performance. I saw nuff gunshots and heard the fowards from the pleased attendees.
Yes, indeed Rihanna you are a Vanguard in my book – a Caribbean Vanguard at that!