10 Controversial Things About Rihanna Everyone Ignores

The pop icon has made a few questionable choices.

Rihanna lev radin / Shutterstock

Rihanna has been in the spotlight for over a decade and has certainly made a name for herself.

The Barbados native has given us hits after hits, along with creating her beauty brand, Fenty Beauty, her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, and her skincare brand, Fenty Skin.

Though if her Instagram handle means anything, 'Bad Gal Riri' has definitely caused a few controversies over her time in the entertainment industry.


Here are 10 controversial things about Rihanna everyone ignores.

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1Rihanna was accused of stealing 'Bitch Better Have My Money.'

controversial things rihanna has done Tinseltown / Shutterstock

According to Billboard, Rihanna was accused of plagiarism for her 2015 hit song, 'Bitch Better Have My Money.'

Fans of the artist Just Brittany pointed out the similarities of her track 'Betta Have My Money' that was released in February 2014. The hooks in both songs are reportedly extremely similar, except for the melody.

The writer of Rihanna's song, Bibi Bourelly, spoke with Vibe, saying she "felt a way" after hearing the allegations.

“It’s like you dedicate [your] entire life to something, you know? You fight for something and actually put the work in, and sacrifice time, like your parents told you to do in order to be ‘successful,’ just so when you finally reach a victory and it’s time to celebrate, some obstacle is there to pull you back down again,” Bourelly said.

RELATED: How Rihanna Battled A Childhood Filled With Abuse & Poverty To Become A Self-Made Billionaire


2Rihanna was banned from Instagram.

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Rihanna has never been shy when it comes to showing off her body, and usually, people love it, just not Instagram.

After posting some NSFW photos on the social media site, Rihanna's Instagram account was taken down.

According to Mashable, the pop singer had shared some pictures she had taken at her shoot with French magazine, Lui.

Many speculated that her account had been taken down because of Instagram's policy against pictures of topless women.

After gaining her account back, Rihanna posted a photo showing an illustration of herself holding hands with Instagram with the caption, "RIHunited."

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3Rihanna was called out for using Islamic verses at her Fenty lingerie show.

controversial things rihanna has done Debby Wong / Shutterstock

During Rihanna's second annual Savage X Fenty lingerie show, the singer ignited backlash from her Muslim fans after using sacred Islamic verses.

According to CNN, Lingerie models danced to the song 'Doom' by London-based producer Coucou Chloe during a portion of Rihanna's show.

Viewers took offense to a portion of the show in which models clad in lingerie danced to a song that sampled audio of someone reading the Hadith, the holy narrative of the Prophet Mohammad that is deeply revered by the Muslim community.

Rihanna issued an apology on her Instagram story right after facing criticism.

“I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x Fenty show,” Rihanna wrote. “I would, more importantly, like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this!”

She continued: “I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding.”

RELATED: Is Rihanna's Topless Instagram Pic Hindu Cultural Appropriation Or Appreciation?


4Rihanna was accused of doing cocaine at Coachella.

controversial things rihanna has done Cubankite / Shutterstock

Rihanna fans are well aware that the 'Umbrella' singer loves to smoke weed, something that used to get the singer into plenty of trouble in the media.

However, the criticism got really bad after a video emerged from the Coachella Valley Music Festival where it looked as if Rihanna was snorting cocaine.

The short clip, according to the International Business Times, showed the singer sitting at a table on her tour bus while her friends dance around her.

She is seen shown holding a slim white tube in her hands before the video cuts back to pals. When it pans back to Rihanna she can be seen holding her nose for several seconds.

Of course, Rihanna responded to the allegations, saying, "Any fool could see that's a joint that I'm basing with cigarette! Who tF snorts tobacco??!! FOH witcho 'never been to a rodeo so someone squeezing their nose means they're doing coke.'"

RELATED: When Is Rihanna Releasing Her New Album?

5Rihanna was in a very public feud with Ciara.

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Almost 11 years ago, Rihanna and Ciara were involved in a rather infamous Twitter feud that many fans won't ever forget.

According to Just Jared, it started when Ciara made an appearance on E!’s 'Fashion Police' as a guest judge in February 2011. A photo of Rihanna at the BRIT Awards was shown and Ciara had some thoughts on the singer.

“I ran into her recently at a party and she wasn’t the nicest and it’s crazy because I’ve always loved and respected what she’s done with fashion. I’ve run into her before, but this time it wasn’t the most pleasant run-in,” Ciara said.

Rihanna obviously didn't like the comment, tweeting, "My bad ci, did I 4get to tip you? #howrudeofme."

Ciara responded, saying, "Trust me Rhianna u don't want to see me on or off the stage.”

Rihanna replied, "U gangsta huh? Haaa," adding, “Good luck with bookin that stage u speak of.”

The two quickly made up though, with Rihanna tweeting an apology and Ciara accepting the apology, saying the two should meet up.

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6Rihanna shaded Karrueche Tran on social media.

controversial things rihanna has done Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Rihanna once threw shade at Chris Brown's ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran, even dissing her in a song that featured Brown.

On the song 'Birthday Cake (Remix),' which featured Brown, Rihanna sang the lyrics, "Sweeter than a rice cake, cake worth sipping," which automatically made people think she was talking about Tran, according to The Richest.

It only got worse when Rihanna uploaded a photo to her Instagram featuring a picture of rice cakes with sunglasses and hoop earrings, captioning it with other lyrics from the same song.

RELATED: Lizzo Criticized For Calling Chris Brown Her 'Favorite Person' But She Shouldn't Be The Only One Receiving Backlash

7Rihanna's photo with a slow loris caused quite the stir.

controversial things rihanna has done Ga Fullner / Shutterstock

According to the Guardian, Rihanna posted an Instagram photo with a slow loris, a furry primate with large eyes and a long tail, which is native to south-east Asia and a protected species in Thailand.

The photo led to Thai police arresting two people on suspicion of attempting to sell the endangered animal.

Rihanna's photo attracted hoards of criticism and backlash from wildlife activists, along with a photo of the pop singer posing with a herd of elephants.

RELATED: Yes, Rihanna Allowing White Models To Wear Braids At Her Fenty Show Is Cultural Appropriation, Even As A Black Woman


8Rihanna was kicked out of a mosque.

controversial things rihanna has done Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

While visiting an Abu Dhabi mosque, Rihanna posted pictures of herself wearing a jumpsuit and a hijab.

According to Buzzfeed News, authorities at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque asked her to leave the premises after she uploaded the photos to her Instagram.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre said, "The singer entered on a private visit without introducing herself and without prior coordination with the administration."

"She was asked to leave before entering the mosque after she posed in ways that do not match the sacred status" of the complex.

The center added that visitors had to meet the "standards of decency" to enter the mosque, and that didn't include sitting in "disrespectful positions."

Despite the backlash, Rihanna never issued an apology for disrespecting the rules at the mosque.

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9She was rumored to have had an affair with Jay-Z.

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In the podcast 'Even The Rich,' it was revealed that the rumor of Rihanna having an affair with Jay-Z had started in 2005, when the pop singer had first begun to leave her mark on the music industry.

Rihanna had been taken under the wing of Jay-Z, who helped her find her footing in the business.

Unfortunately, that's when the rumors started circulating that Jay-Z and Rihanna were secretly hooking up, something that was deemed damaging considering Rihanna was only 17-years-old at the time.

According to Cosmopolitan, Jay-Z and Beyoncé allegedly split up for a period of time due to the rumors. 

However, sources told Elle that the story was planted by a publicist in order to stir up interest in Rihanna’s musical career.

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10Rihanna was accused of glamorizing abuse on the song 'Love The Way You Lie.'

controversial things rihanna has done DFree / Shutterstock

When Rihanna collaborated with Eminem for the song 'Love The Way You Lie,' the music video drew instant criticism for its depiction of abuse.

The video showed Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan as a couple trapped in a destructive relationship.

Entertainment Weekly bashed the video, wondering if the video's depiction of domestic violence is too much.

According to the Guardian, Billboard had a different response, defending Rihanna by saying she felt the song was something she needed to get out of her system following the "very-public assault at the hands of ex-boyfriend Chris Brown."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.