Rihanna and Drake will team up to rock the Grammy stage on Sunday night, but while both have stayed mum about the show, if previous performances — and their obvious chemistry — are any indication, these two will likely bring some hip-hop and R&B-tinged heat.
In 2010, Rihanna circled the world on her Last Girl on Earth Tour, vamping it up in sharp-shouldered, leg-baring bodysuits and straddling bubblegum-colored tanks. A Rihanna show, however, isn’t always a mélange of militant moves and space-age sexpot grooves. The “S&M” songstress went tribal with a drum-heavy throwdown at the 2010 American Music Awards, gyrated under bright-red lights for a flirty rendition of “What’s My Name?” on “Saturday Night Live” and played a flower-laden princess at the Europe Music Awards. A restless chameleon when it comes to her aesthetic, the most consistent aspect of the superstar’s stage turns is the flash of her famous legs.
While high-concept set design and elaborate outfits typify Rihanna’s stage shows, Drake gets concertgoers hyped with high-wattage cameos. When the Young Money hitmaker’s Light Dreams and Nightmares Tour touched down in New York City in September, Drizzy trotted out Jay-Z, Fabolous, Trey Songz and others. Swizz Beatz and Mary J. Blige helped him out for a throwback-themed set at the VMAs, fellow Canadian ladykiller Justin Bieber showed his precious mug at the Indiana State Fair and Lil Wayne chose the MC’s Las Vegas date to hit the stage just days after he was released from prison. Drizzy’s sets aren’t just live posse cuts though, as the rapper has also said the Light Dreams trek was inspired by rock icon Jimi Hendrix’s freewheeling stage style.
Each artist has rocked bodies at the Recording Academy’s annual trophy handout as well. Drizzy pulled off a performance of “Forever” alongside top-flight lyricists Eminem and Lil Wayne, with Travis Barker on the skins, at the 2010 awards show. Rihanna has entertained her industry peers at pre-Grammy bashes, but Sunday’s show will allow the pop megastar to show off her skills after her 2009 performance was famously thwarted following an assault by then-boyfriend Chris Brown.
So Rihanna is usually good for an outrageous costume and an eye-popping set, while Drizzy tends to have a famous face in the wings ready to kick up the star power. Yet their most high-profile onscreen collaboration is low on big-budget tricks, and is instead a portrait of the pair’s close relationship. When they combined forces on the songstress’ Loud hit “What’s My Name?” — after being dogged by rumors of an undercover fling — they kept the video intimate and low-key, flirting in a bodega on New York’s Lower East Side, sharing wine and Chinese food and cuddling on the couch.
Come Sunday, the pair’s collabo promises to be a big moment: It’s the first time they have performed together live, and it will be Rihanna’s chance to finally take over the Grammy stage. And since they’re up for four awards each, it’s possible their stage show will be a celebration after they’ve snatched Grammy gold.Read also...