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“Diamonds” by Rihanna

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    “Diamonds” by Rihanna (official video) is an R&B song.

    Song Title: Diamonds (official video)
    Artist: Rihanna
    Album: Unapologetic
    Genre: R&B, pop, dance, adult pop, electronic, soul
    Composer: Copyright © 2012 Sia Furler, Benjamin Levin, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen
    Lead Vocals: Rihanna
    Director: Anthony Mandler
    Producer: Benny Blanco, StarGate
    Recorded: 2012
    Released: September 27, 2012 (2012-09-27) (Def Jam)
    Official Website:
    Number of listens: 36512

    U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #2 (two), last week #2 (two), previous week #2 (two) with a bullet, down from previous week #1 (one) with a bullet, previous week #1 (one) with a bullet, 13 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    R&B/Hip-Hop: #1 (one), last week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), 1132 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    R&B: #1 (one), last week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), 12 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Pop: #2 (two), up from last week #3 (three), last week #3 (three), up from previous week #4 (four), up from previous week #6 (six), up from previous week #8 (eight), 13 weeks on chart, peak #2 (two)
    Dance/Club Play: #5 (five), down from last week #3 (three), up from previous week #4 (four), down from previous week #1 (one), up from previous week #2 (two), up from previous week #3 (three), 9 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Adult Pop: #16, up from last week #17, up from previous week #20, up from previous week #21, up from previous week #22, up from previous week #24, 11 weeks on chart, peak #17
    Radio Songs: #2 (two), down from last week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), up from last week #2 (two), 13 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Digital Songs: #5 (five), down from last week #4 (four), down from previous week #2 (two), up from previous week #8 (eight), down from previous week #2 (two), down from previous week #1 (one), 13 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    On-Demand Songs: #2 (two), last week #2 (two), down from last week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), 11 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Ringtones: #3 (three), last week #3 (three), previous week #3 (three), previous week#3 (three), up from previous week #4 (four), up from previous week #6 (six), 10 weeks on chart, peak #3 (three)
    R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay: #11 (eleven), up from llast week #13, up from previous week #14, down from previous week #13, up from previous week #17, up from #20, 13 weeks on chart, peak #13
    R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs: #1 (one), last week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), up from previous week #3 (three), down from previous week #1 (one), 12 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Latin Airplay: #21, up from last week #25, down from last week #23, up from previous week #30, 7 weeks on chart, peak #21
    Latin Pop: #16, up from last week #17, up from previous week #22, up from previous week #27, 7 weeks on chart, peak #16
    Japan Hot 100: out of chart, #67, down from last week #37, down from previous week #26, up from previous week #38, down from #31, 12 weeks on chart, peak #24
    United Kingdom: #10 (ten), down from last week #7 (seven), down from previous week #5 (five), down from previous week #3 (three), up from previous week #10 (ten), down from #9 (nine), 11 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Germany: #1 (one), last week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), 12 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    France: #4 (four), down from last week #3 (three), down from previous week #2 (two), previous week #2 (two), down from previous week #1 (one), up from #4 (four), 13 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Canadian Hot 100: #3 (three), last week #3 (three), down from previous week #2 (two), down from previous week #1 (one), previous week #1 (one), 13 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    YouTube: #3 (three) down from last week #2 (two), previous week #2 (two), previous week #2 (two), 9 weeks on chart, peak #2 (two)
     Billboard information for the week of Jan 5, 2013
     Billboard chart listings courtesy of Billboard Magazine

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    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

        “Diamonds” is a song recorded by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna, released as the lead single from her seventh studio album Unapologetic (2012). It was written by Sia Furler in collaboration with Benjamin “Benny Blanco” Levin, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen. The song was produced by Blanco, as well as Eriksen and Hermansen under their production name StarGate. “Diamonds” premiered on September 26, 2012, during the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show and was released as a digital download the following day. Def Jam Recordings serviced the single to contemporary hit radio in the United States on October 2. “Diamonds” is a mid-tempo pop ballad with influences of electronic and soul music. The song is a departure from themes of “unhealthy relationships” that are evident in Rihanna’s several of Rihanna’s previous singles.

    Critical reception for “Diamonds” was generally mixed; some reviewers complimented Rihanna’s different musical direction, while others criticized its production. “Diamonds” peaked at number one in twelve (12) countries, including Austria, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, and reached top-ten positions in more than thirty other countries, including Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain. The song has reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Rihanna’s twelfth number one single on the chart, tying her with Madonna and The Supremes for the fifth-most number ones in the chart’s history. “Diamonds” also reached number one on the US Hot Dance Club SOngs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

    The song’s music video for the song was shot by Rihanna’s regular collaborator Anthony Mandler and premiered on November 8, 2012. The music video depicts Rihanna in four environments that represent the elements of earth, air, water, and fire. It features “dreamy” and “surreal” scenes of the singer, such as her lying alone in open waters, frantically running from a car on a deserted highway, in a desert with horses running free, and in-between a street battle. An official remix of “Diamonds”, featuring rap verses by Kayne West, was released on November 16, 2012.


Writing and production

    American songwriter and record producer Benjamin “Benny Blanco” Levin convened with StarGate (Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen) in 2012 at a studio in New York City to create new material, including a song for Rihanna. StarGate has worked with Rihanna previously and produced some of her previous singles, including “Don’t Stop the Music” (Good Girl Gone Bad, 2007) and “Only Girl (In the World)” (Loud, 2010). According to Blanco, one day they went into the studio with an idea to create something “Kanye [West] could rap over”, something that “wasn’t Rihanna” sounding. He further elaborated, “we weren’t thinking of Rihanna at all and then it’s the one that we weren’t thinking Rihanna, is the one that turned into the Rihanna record…But that’s how it always happens like with me, when I’m really thinking, ‘Yo, you got to make this hit right now, we got to make the first single right now.’” They made the record first, followed by its beat. Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler later joined them and wrote the lyrics for “Diamonds”. After the song was completed, they wanted to play it to Rihanna, however, Blanco was skeptical about the reaction towards the song, having in mind its slower nature. After StarGate played it to Rihanna, they called Blanco from London and told him that she likes the song, “She’s flippin’ out. She played it like seven times in a row. It’s her favorite song.” He further elaborated that they had to finish the mixing and mastering of the song with Rihanna’s vocals within the last days prior to its release, which according to him was “crazy and amazing”.

Release and artwork

    Rihanna began working on the sound for her seventh studio album in March 2012. On September 12, 2012, Def Jam France announced via Twitter that Rihanna would release a new single the upcoming week while her seventh studio album is scheduled to be released in November 2012. However, the tweet was shortly deleted and replaced with another clarifying that “more information will be made available tomorrow, Thursday, September 13”.

    Right after her performance at the iHeartRadio music festival in September 2012, Rihanna revealed that her single “Diamonds” would be released the same month. She described the track as “happy and hippy rather than dancey”, elaborating: “It’s laid-back but it’s hopeful. It’s a record that… gives me such a great feeling when I listen to it. The lyrics are very hopeful and positive, but it’s about love.” The cover artwork for the song was revealed on September 24, 2012, and features Rihanna rolling diamonds in a manner suggestive of making a joint. On September 26, 2012, Rihanna posted the full lyrics of the song in PDF format on her official website “Diamonds” premiered the same day on the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show and it was released the following day. Def Jam Recordings solicited the single to contemporary hit radio in the United States on October 2.


    “Diamonds” is a mid-tempo ballad which uses electronic, soul music, and pop, and has a length of three minutes and 45 seconds. It features drums, heavy synthesizers, a 1980s backbeat, orchestral sounds and electronic rhythms accompanied with Rihanna’s vocal performance. According to the digital sheet music published by EMI Music Publishing, “Diamonds” is written in the key of B minor and set in common time signature, with a moderately slow groove. Rihanna’s vocals span from the low note of F3 to the high note of F5. Rolling Stone’s reviewer wrote that “the track’s production mainly stays out of Rihanna’s way, letting the pop star build hooks with layers of her voice.” The song makes a lyrical departure from Rihanna’s recurring theme of an unhealthy relationship, and contains a prominent concept of love.

    The first verse introduces the concept of the song: “Find light in the beautiful sea / I choose to be happy / You and I, you and I / We’re like diamonds in the sky.” The title is a simile which is also present during the music: “So shine bright, tonight, you and I / We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky / Eye to eye, so alive.” According to Glenn Yoder of The Boston Globe, with lyrics like “I choose to be happy” and “We’re like diamonds in the sky,” the single shows a new side of the singer that the public usually doesn’t see. James Montgomery of MTV News commented that she embraces the positivity and fulfillment of a realized relationship which can be seen during the lines, “When you hold me, I’m alive” and admits “I knew that we’d become one right away”. Lindsay DiMattina of concluded that it’s as Rihanna is crying out for her lover when she sings lines like, “When you hold me, I’m alive,” or “At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays / I saw the life inside your-eyes.” Herald Sun noted that the lyrics were most likely inspired by Rihanna’s private life.

Music video

Background and concept

    “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 explaining the concept for the music video.
    Rihanna began shooting the music video for “Diamonds” on October 21, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. It was directed by her regular collaborator Anthony Mandler, who previously directed Rihanna’s music videos for “Russian Roulette” (2009) and “Man Down” (2011). Photographs of the production were leaked on the same day; on them, Rihanna is seen wearing a white and black dress as she stands in front of a fire and looks into the camera. Ethan Sacks of New York Daily News wrote, “Rihanna looked like a gem on the set of her video shoot.” Speaking to MTV News, Rihanna explained the concept behind the video explaining that with different abstract scenes she wanted to give the audience “the right emotion”. Mandler also spoke about the video and its theme, “With this one, I felt the need to create a wider landscape; almost hint at things, go into things, then get out of them, and not allow people to attach themselves to too much… they needed to feel like dream vignettes, like, when you wake up from a dream, you realize what you were dreaming about is not really what it was about, it was about something else.” He further explained, “And you can see what I’m getting at in terms of relating this to Rihanna’s real life, and what she’s been through. What’s truth or fiction? You know ‘Is she drowning, or is she in complete ecstasy? Are those hands coming apart, or are they finding each other?’ … we tried to bring up these deeper questions that relate to song and her life and finding beauty in chaos and finding beauty in pain and finding pain in beauty.” On November 7, 2012, a behind-the-scenes video was posted on MTV’s official website. It features Rihanna emerging from a trailer, wrapped in a “leopard-print8#147; robe and heading to the shooting set. The scenes are intercut with police officers chasing armed fighters. Scenes of Rihanna standing in a deserted landscape are also shown. The music video for “Diamonds” premiered November 8, 2012, on MTV and An online streaming of the video was also made available for viewing at It was digitally released on November 14, 2012 via iTunes in all countries except Australia.


    The music video opens with a view of Rihanna lying in open waters, as other scenes of diamonds being rolled in a manner suggestive of making a marijuana cigarette— a scene reminiscent of the single’s artwork. As the video progresses Rihanna is shown running on a highway. In a black-and-white scene, Rihanna licks the joint and begins smoking it. The image fades to black as the song begins. Rihanna sings in the same black-and-white setting while in a black corset. In the water, her hand is intervened with a heavily tattooed arm of a man, whose face is not shown in the video. Quick images of a hotel room where Rihanna lies while singing are shown, with objects breaking, curtains falling and roses burning. Rihanna is shown again on the highway, where she is looking at aurora view in the sky. She stops running and begins singing while looking around. The sky is shown glittering and shining as Rihanna revolves around starring at it. Throughout the video, the intertwined hands of Rihanna and her lover are shown slipping slowly apart, finally separating as the song ends. As the second verse starts, Rihanna is shown in a desert where horses run freely. Near the end, Rihanna is once again shown alone in the open waters, presumably depressed after the departure of the lover whose hand is shown holding Rihanna’s during the video. Scenes of a street battles are shown; people are fighting while Rihanna is standing in the middle. Scenes of burned cars and broken glass are show around the environment. The video closes with the same scene from the beginning with Rihanna lying in the water.


    Upon its release, the video received positive response from critics. James Montgomery of MYV News stated that the video for “Diamonds” “opens with [Rihanna] raking her fingers through piles of the titular stones and ends with her adrift at sea. In between, there is no shortage of evocative imagery (glamorous black-and-white close-ups, thick plumes of translucent smoke, oversaturated hill-scapes, artfully silhouetted stallions), all of which make for a visually arresting experience.” He concluded by complaring the video to the song itself, commenting, “The result is both incredibly intimate and wide-screen public.” According to Jocelyn Vena, also of MTV News, the video for “Diamonds” is full of “dreamy” and “surreal” shoots of Rihanna, as she mournfully makes her way through a number of “sometimes-unimaginable set-ups.” E! Online’s Bruna Nessif described the video as “full of complex imagery and storytelling--or in any case, Rihanna being all mysterious and sexy--has been released for your viewing pleasure.” Amy Scarrietto of PopCrush wrote that Rihanna is the only face in the video that looks “vulnerable”. Sciarrietto further stated, “we witness another body, in the form of a heavily tattooed, man’s arm that she’s desperately trying to cling to. We don’t see him, but the suggestion that it’s Chris Brown is obvious.” A reviewer of NME commented on the theme of the video and wrote that Rihanna is seen in four environments that represent the four elements, the earth, air, water and fire. Leah Collins of The Vancouver Sun wrote that Rihanna’s evaluation of the song had influence on the video concept. He further stated, “It all feels like you’re watching outtakes from about a dozen Rihanna magazine shoots.” Billy Johnson Jr. of Yahoo! Canada stated that although the video portrays Rihanna being in a chaos, she is remembering her happier moments.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)


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