Surrounded by friends, family and her team, Rihanna celebrated the release of her new book at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City Friday night (Oct. 11).
The visual autobiography, titled Rihanna, invites readers into her world, all the way from her childhood in Barbados, to her journey as an entrepreneur in the fashion and beauty world, to her rise as a music icon, and everything in between.
Executives from her book publisher Phaidon, her label Roc Nation, and ticket holders gathered to sip on champagne get a first glimpse of her coffee table-ready book, which Rih has been steadily working on for over the last five years.
Ever since she stormed onto the music scene at the young age of 16, Rihanna has never missed a beat, proving to be a trailblazer in more areas than one. As a successful businesswoman, while simultaneously solidifying her spot as a dominating figure in media streaming and social media, she now has one piece of advice for her younger self upon reflection of her extraordinary life.
“Looking back at these times in the book, I’d tell my younger self to take more vacations then because there’s hardly any time now,” she tells Billboard on the red carpet with a long, yet very gratitude-filled sigh and a smile.
“I’ve worked so much and so hard, consistently, even when I was young. I never saw the day I could take a break, and now it’s even more crazy. I can’t believe there was a time I only did music. Now, any little chance I can even get three hours to myself, I take it and I appreciate it. It was all worth it, though.”
The enormous, luxury limited edition of the book on display in the Guggenheim lobby was the star of the night, sending an unmistakable message that the book is surely a worthy work of art itself. Several other Rihanna books were scattered through the space for attendees to flip through and enjoy.
Midway through the launch event, Rihanna stopped by the party to make sure to thoroughly express her gratitude to the team who made this all possible. The unique, open spiral design of the Guggenheim allowed Rihanna to claim her own makeshift stage, where she gave a short speech of appreciation.
She thanked her publisher, Phaidon, her photographers, and her best friend for capturing intimate images she treasures.
“I just gave [the publishers] a USB filled with pictures and said, ‘Here you go!’” she told the crowd with a laugh. “And they said, ‘We’ll make art.’”
Lastly, she endearingly thanked her fans, telling them none of this would be possible without the unwavering loyalty of the Navy.
The book, which currently retails for $150, is more than just a large, incredibly heavy hardcover publication containing stunning professional photographs from her whirlwind life. Rihanna gives readers a rare and intimate look into her journey, chronicled in family pictures, captivating tour shots, and even rare handwritten letters, like the one young Robyn wrote to her mother, telling her she hopes she can come home soon for the holidays.
The book contains 504 pages with 1,050 color images and 11 special inserts and is available for purchase now.