‘Diamonds:’ the Story of Rihanna’s Song That Made Us Believe in Love Again

This is the story behind Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds,’ one of the singer’s most special and successful songs.

Isabel Cara

‘Diamonds:’ the Story of Rihanna’s Song That Made Us Believe in Love Again

Let’s talk about the story of Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds,’ the song with which she closed her meaningful Super Bowl 2023 performance after a six-year absence from the stage. The singer has made it clear that she is back in music, and we couldn’t be happier about it. The artist from Barbados took a break from her music career to dedicate herself to her entrepreneurial side and, most recently, to motherhood.

Rihanna has a successful career of more than twenty years, in which she harvested great projects that, today, are already part of musical history. They are iconic songs that have marked her career and probably will never stop playing. Among these is ‘Diamonds,’ one of Riri’s most successful -and beautiful- songs, and although we have already assigned it our own story, it has a very peculiar one that, if you are a fan, you should know.

History of ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna

‘Diamonds’ almost didn’t belong to Rihanna, according to Benny Blanco, the track’s co-writer, as it was originally intended for other artists such as Eminem, Lana del Rey, or Kanye West. Benny Blanco had been working on tracks for Rihanna with a group of songwriters for several days, and in one of these projects, a hip-hop beat was born that, rather coincided more with Kanye West’s style and not Rihanna’s.

The Australian singer-songwriter Sia joined the creation of the songs, in fact, she collaborated on two songs for Rihanna’s album Unapologetic. However, she realized that the beat was not ideal for the singer; the musician was in charge of the instrumental track, while the composer of the lyrics and melody, but unfortunately, they did not achieve anything at first.

After several days of working, Sia was ready to finish her day in the studio and go home to rest, she put on her coat and even called a car to come and pick her up, but that was when, without wanting to, magic was born. Benny Blanco played the track ‘Diamonds’ and that’s where the composer got “shine bright like a diamond,” the most representative phrase of the song; so they got down to work, and Sia composed the lyrics in less than fifteen minutes, in fact, the producers say it was in twelve. So she did her job and, by the way, she didn’t make the car that would take her home wait too long.

The people in charge of composing ‘Diamonds’ showed the result to Rihanna and, of course, she loved it. She considered it more than perfect, so much so that she thought it was not necessary to make any vocal arrangement, so she decided to simply imitate all of Sia’s interpretation so that the song would not lose its charm.

Blanco made a few musical arrangements, and Rihanna could not wait any longer to record the song. After a few days, they showed the recording to Sia to know her opinions, and she thought it was a joke because she could not differentiate between her voice and that of the singer from Barbados.

Diamonds’ belongs to Rihanna’s album Unapologetic, released in 2012, and is considered one of the singer’s biggest hits; it topped the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom, and even the singer herself once confessed that it was her favorite song, and today it is one of the songs that most represent her.

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva