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Diamonds: Rihanna’s Stirring International Pop Hit

Diamonds: Rihanna’s Stirring International Pop Hit

Music2 min Read

As if Rihanna wasn’t enough of a megastar, her lyrics inspire hundreds of tattoos

Shine bright like a diamond

Shine bright like a diamond

It’s not the most meaningful phrase, and it’s rife with cliché — but that’s okay, in fact, probably preferable for the many, many souls who have this Rihanna sentiment tattooed on their bodies. “Diamonds,” Rihanna’s 2012 international dance pop hit, after all, was written in 14 minutes by lyrical magician and songstress Sia Furler. Or rather, the lyrics were, once Sia was introduced to the song’s production by the prolific producers Benny Blanco and StarGate.

Find light in the beautiful sea

I choose to be happy

You and I, you and I

We’re like diamonds in the sky

It’s not uncommon for a star to have songs fed to them, in fact, some songs are written with that artist in mind while others are pushed around from producer to producer until they land somewhere. This phenomenon has happened frequently to Rihanna herself, with songs like “Disturbia” originally written for Chris Brown and “Umbrella” originally for Britney Spears.

You’re a shooting star I see

A vision of ecstasy

When you hold me, I’m alive

We’re like diamonds in the sky

“Diamonds” was released as a single in the autumn of 2012, and quickly rose to ranks of the top ten by December, becoming Rihanna’s 23rd top-ten single. This puts Rihanna among the likes of Madonna, the Supremes, and Mariah Carey.

The “Diamonds” music video hits you right on the head — the opening shot is sparkling, glittering diamonds being deliciously molested by Rihanna’s tattooed fingers. It cuts from poolside to streetside to diamonds, and we even catch a glimpse in the beginning of Rihanna rolling herself a thick blunt with diamonds as her greens.

"With every song it's a different story, so the visuals are very specific to that story and that world. With 'Diamonds,' it was just a series of vignettes that we put together to help get the emotion across throughout the song 'cause the song changes and it builds, and there's no real way that you could do that." — Rihanna, regarding the concept for the video.

I knew that we’d become one right away

Oh, right away

At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays

I saw the life inside your eyes

So, shine bright like a diamond. It’s a valuable, easy sentiment to glom onto — be your best self, says Rihanna, or go a step further and follow Pink Floyd’s call and shine on, you crazy diamond.

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