About the Song:
“Only Girl in the World” was the lead single from Rihanna’s fifth album, 2010’s Loud. It topped the Billboard Hot 100, but not until after the album’s second single, “What’s My Name?” had reached the pinnacle. It was the first time that an album’s lead single got to #1 after the second single had reached that peak. WK It was her fourth #1 of the year, making her the first female to achieve that feat. SF “Only Girl” also hit the top in the UK, Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Rihanna approached the Norwegian production duo of Stargate (Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen) about writing a song for the Loud album. She had worked with them on her top-10 hits “Don’t Stop the Music” and “Hate That I Love You” as well as the #1 song “Rude Boy.” She told them she wanted “happy, uptempo songs.” WK “Only Girl” was the first song written for the album. Cyrstal Nicole and Sandy Vee were also songwriters on the song. They had just produced Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Perry was also interested in “Only Girl” but it went to Rihanna. SF
Lyrically, the dance-pop song is about the narrator demanding her lover’s physical attention, i.e. wanting to feel like the only girl in the world. Critics praised the song and Rihanna’s decision to move away from some of the previous album’s darker themes.
Los Angeles Times’ Gerrick D. Kennedy called it a “surefire hit” WK and Billboard’s Monica Herrera said the song “aims squarely for dance-floor domination.” WK Rolling Stone’s James Dolan wasn’t as complimentary, saying “the trance beat won’t keep you in the club unless someone else is paying for the drinks.” WK
The song won a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Recording.
First posted 2/10/2023.
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