If you follow Rihanna on any of her social media platforms, you know her as “Bad Gal Riri.” As a musical artist, fashion mogul, and business owner, she oozes confidence. Rihanna is the epitome of an icon. But even so, she’s still human and she still struggles with human thoughts, emotions, and anxieties. In her May cover story for British Vogue, Rihanna talks about how anxiety has hindered her for years. Being plagued with nerves even caused her to cancel her 2016 Grammys performance, just hours before the show went live.
Though Rihanna’s stage persona is full-throttle confidence, Vogue interviewer Afua Hirsch notes that, in person, the mogul-singer comes off as “bashfully generous” in a new situation. But the “Work” singer reveals that her insecurities lie even deeper than that.
“I can’t listen to my voice, you know,” Rihanna confessed.
“Oh, I’m nervous before even getting in the car to go to something,” she continued. “It can be devastating. And when I pull up to the red carpet, I’m like…,” and the writer noted that Rihanna mimicked hyperventilating.
Assumingly seeing the shock on Hirsch’s face, Rihanna continued, adding: “Are you kidding me? I left the Grammys one time. Left! In the middle of my hair and makeup. My hair half up, half of my lash on.”
Rihanna was a few hours away from performing her song “Kiss It Better” at the 2016 Grammy Awards. However, she dropped out last minute due to “voice issues,” media outlets reported. But in reality, Rihanna now described leaving because of what seemed to be an anxiety or panic attack.
“Being on camera, being in a room full of celebrities is still not normal for me, by the way,” Rihanna added.
Later in the interview, Rihanna admitted that she likes living in London among those who are “bougier” than her because she’s able to disappear in the crowds.
“I like it because they’re too bougie to give a shit about me,” she said. “When I walk into those places, I am invisible. And nothing makes me feel better than being invisible.” She continued, “If I want a night off, I go hang with the people I would never hang with. And I just, I’m just in my bubble. Which I really enjoy about London.”
Although, on the surface, it looks like Rihanna loves nothing more than to snap a great photo, hang with the elite crowd, and be noticed, it seems that she likes to keep to herself as much as the average person. Whatever she needs to do to quell her anxiety, she does.
And, truth be told, that makes Rihanna even more badass.