Pop singer Rihanna says tabloid rumors about a purported feud with fellow music star Beyoncé are false.
In an interview posted Thursday, the “Work” singer tells Vogue magazine that Beyoncé’s release of her new single and music video “Formation” in head-to-head competition with Rihanna’s new album “Anti” was no indication of bad blood. “Here’s the deal,” Rihanna, 28, said of social-media chatter claiming so. “They just get so excited to feast on something that’s negative. Something that’s competitive. Something that’s, you know, a rivalry. And that’s just not what I wake up to. Because I can only do me. And nobody else is going to be able to do that.”
The releases came 10 days apart, with Rihanna’s eighth studio album, “Anti,” dropping on Jan. 27 and “Formation” released Feb. 6, a day before Beyoncé performed at Super Bowl halftime. Rihanna’s album, which had leaked earlier on the day of its release, was initially available exclusively on the streaming and purchase website Tidal, whose owners include Rihanna and Jay Z, Beyoncé’s husband.
Speculation of a feud began after publicist Jonathan Hay initiated what he later admitted was a knowingly false rumor that Rihanna, who had just released her song “Pon de Replay” (2005), was having an affair with Jay Z. Neither was aware of his machinations, he said.
J. Randy Taraborrelli, author of last year’s “Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story,” told “Entertainment Tonight” in October that while he believes Jay Z has never cheated on Beyoncé, the rumor did drive the couple apart for “maybe a year . . . because Beyoncé just wasn’t sure of what to make of the situation with Rihanna.” He added, “It’s safe to say that Rihanna and Beyoncé are friends.”
More rumors surfaced last month when a tabloid site claimed Rihanna had canceled her scheduled Grammy Awards performance because Beyoncé was attending the ceremony. A Rihanna representative told GossipCop.com that after a doctor’s examination following rehearsal, Rihanna was put on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal cords.