A History of Rihanna’s Beefs (Real or Imagined)

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Rihanna at Paris Fashion Week March 2017 (Getty)

During Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals off Sunday night, there will be no shortage of key match-ups to keep an eye on. Can Kevin Durant or Draymond Green stop LeBron James? Can James stop Durant? Can Kyrie Irving stop Steph Curry? Can anyone on the Warriors stop Irving? That’s just to name a few.

Yet the most entertaining match-up could very well be between Durant and Rihanna. Yes, you read that correctly. The two had a fun back and forth throughout Game 1, as Rihanna, a proud Cavaliers’ fan, trash-talked the Warriors’ superstar. At one point Rihanna even yelled “brick” as Durant took a foul shot. Durant responded with what could only be described as a look that was somewhere in between “are you kidding me,” “I don’t shoot bricks” and “yo, is that Rihanna?”


Now whether or not it was actually Rihanna who yelled at Durant is up for debate, but the damage is done and a Durant/Rihanna beef is upon us. Or at least seems like it’s upon us. Who really cares? This NBA Finals looks to be an all-timer. Why not add in a feud between one of the team’s best players and one of the planet’s best pop stars?

Rihanna for her part, is no stranger to beef, real or imagined. Her history of beefs goes back a few years and is due in large part to Rihanna’s ability to clap back with the best of them. You come at Rihanna, you best not miss. And even if you do, expect some sort of response.

Rihanna vs. Ciara

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Ciara at 2016 ESPY’s (Getty)

Let’s go back to February of 2011, where Ciara was a guest on E’s Fashion Police. The subject of Rihanna came up and Ciara decided to shed some light on their relationship, telling the panel that when the had met her at a party, Rihanna “wasn’t the nicest.” Ciara went on to say that “I’ve always loved and respected what she’s done in fashion” but “it wasn’t the most pleasant run-in.”

I’m not too pleased with that response and I’m only a fan of Rihanna. So you can imagine Rihanna wasn’t too pumped about it. Rihanna took to twitter to respond, followed by Ciara responding, and well, you can imagine how things played out. The two pop singers eventually made amends, and for a short time, everything seemed to be all quiet on the western front. Peace time only lasted a little over two years though.

In April of 2013 Ciara appeared on San Francisco’s Wild 94.9 and the topic of her dust-ups with Rihanna was brought up.

“I don’t have beef with anybody, but I’m not going to be disrespected either,” Ciara told the radio station. “I don’t know what her problem is. I think she’s nuts right now.” Ciara would add that she wished Rihanna well and for the most part, that seemed to be the end of it. In May of 2016, whoever was running MTV’s social media account decided to get cute and allude to the Ciara/Rihanna beef in a tweet referring to Ciara hosting the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Ciara was quick to throw water on everything and since then, things seem relatively cool between the two.

Rihanna vs. Joan Rivers

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Joan Rivers (Getty)

The late Joan Rivers decided to take a shot at Rihanna on Twitter in August of 2012. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna admitted that she still had feelings for her ex, Chris Brown. Rivers responded in kind.

Rihanna was quick to respond, tweeting “wow u really do get slow when you’re old huh?” Never one to concede the last word, Rivers tried to re-iterate her point, make amends and book a guest in one tweet, tweeting “Honey, @Rihanna, everyone knows: If he hit you once, he’ll hit you again. Read the statistics. PS – Love to have you on Fashion Police!”

Rihanna never responded to the offer and Rivers passed away in September 2014.

Rihanna vs. Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes March,
2014 (Getty)

Bynes was a successful child star until she hit a bit of a rough patch. In the midst of said patch, Bynes took to Twitter to fire some shots at Rihanna, shots she would later say weren’t from her.

First, there was Bynes tweeting “@Rihanna you look so ugly tryin to be white” followed by “@Rihanna Chris brown beat you because you’re not pretty enough.” Bynes then concluded with “no one wants to be your lover so you call everyone and their mother that I almost named my new dog Rihanna.”

Bynes later claimed that one of her fans “mocked up tweets about me bashing Rihanna” and it wasn’t her. Hey, she loves Rihanna. Bynes is “sure we’ll be in a music video together one day.”

That music video has yet to happen.

Rihanna vs. Charlie Sheen

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Charlie Sheen November 2015 (Getty)

It was May 22, 2014. Charlie Sheen had taken his then-fiancee, Scottine Sheen, out to dinner and wouldn’t you know it, Rihanna was at the same restaurant they were. This was exciting news for the future Mrs. Sheen. According to his account of the night, Sheen “sent a request over to table to introduce my fiancee Scotty to her, as she is a huge fan. (Personally I couldn’t pick her out of a lineup at gunpoint.)”

That’s news right there because if he’s telling the truth, Sheen would then be one of only a few people who could not pick Rihanna out of a lineup.

Sheen continued: “Well, the word we received back was that there was too many paps outside and it just wasn’t possible at this time. At this time? AT THIS TIME?? Lemme guess, we’re to reschedule another random 11 million to 1 encounter with her some other night…?”

The rest of Sheen’s Twitter rant included making light of Rihanna’s appearance, continually stressing that he could care less about meeting Rihanna and some tips of the trade from a showbiz vet. Rihanna responded subtly given the circumstances. She changed the banner picture on her Twitter page to her signing autographs for a fan, but with Sheen’s head photoshopped onto the autograph-seeker’s body, and a single tweet: “If that old queen don’t get ha diapers out of a bunch…”

Nearly three years later Sheen was asked about that incident on Watch What Happens Live and did little to prove that he moved past it. He would take to Twitter a few days later to apologize for calling her names, offering to buy her a drink sometime.

Rihanna vs. Taylor Swift

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Taylor Swift February 2017 (Getty)

In the summer of 2015, each morning brought a new report of a celebrity appearance at the previous night’s Taylor Swift concert, as Swift stormed the country promoting her album 21. With everyone from Julia Roberts to the United States Women’s National Soccer Team getting called onto the stage, it wasn’t all that shocking that in an interview, Rihanna was asked if she would ever accept an invite.

“I don’t think I would (join her on stage,)” Rihanna said. “I just don’t think it makes sense. I don’t think our brands are the same: I don’t think they match, I don’t think our audiences are the same. In my mind she’s a role model, I’m not.”

This seems like a perfectly understandable answer, yet in 2015, everything involving Swift was viewed through a distorted prism and slights (both real and imagined) were easily bastardized. The idea of a Swift/Rihanna beef only gained momentum when Rihanna teamed up with Swift’s ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris on “This Is What You Came For.”

But don’t worry America. Cross this beef off your list. At Coachella 2016, any beef between the two singers was seemingly squashed. Whew.

Rihanna vs. Beyonce

Beyonce at the Grammy Awards in 2017 (Getty)


But okay, let’s run through this one anyway. We’ll just do it quickly.

After the Grammy nominations were announced in December 2016, Rihanna liked a photo on Instagram that seemed to suggest she would have been nominated for more awards if voters hadn’t wanted her being nominated for more awards than Beyonce. Rihanna quickly put this one to bed, taking to the comments section of the picture to clear things up.

“I never actually read your caption, thought the pic was funny and moved right along,” she wrote in response to the speculation that she was slamming Beyoncé. “Til I seen it pop up over and over! I’m petty af, yes. But this is just unnecessary! I wish y’all would drop this topic and see things from the bigger picture! We don’t need to be putting black women against each other! We deserve to be celebrated, and the Grammy Academy agrees!”

Case closed. Nice try, Internet.

Rihanna vs. Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks, October 2013 (Getty)

Noted Internet provocateur and rapper Azealia Banks was in favor of President Donald Trump’s first attempt at enacting a travel ban, which was signed via executive order in late January 2017. Rihanna on the other hand, was not.

So when it came time for Banks to pledge her support for the proposed ban, she made a point of signaling out Rihanna. On Instagram, Banks said that “as far as Rihanna (who isn’t a citizen, and can’t vote) and all the rest of the celebrities who are using their influence to stir the public, you lot really REALLY need to shut up and sit down.”

To which Rihanna also took to Instagram to respond.

We award Rihanna points for brevity.

Rihanna vs. Naomi Campbell

Watch What Happens Live strikes again. In early March of this year, supermodel Naomi Campbell was a guest and was asked by host Andy Cohen about an rumored beef between her and Rihanna. Now what’s the reason behind these rumors, you might be wondering. Well, they don’t follow each other on social media.

That’s pretty much it.

Regardless, Campbell answered Cohen by saying that “everything’s fine, of course it’s fine. I don’t have beef, especially with black women that I think are powerful. We’re put there doing the same thing, and (having) the same struggle.”

So see? It’s fine.

Rihanna vs. England

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haters will say it's photoshop.

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Apr 24, 2017 at 6:27am PDT

Wow. A whole country. Say what you will about these beefs, but Rihanna has definitely upped her game if she’s beefing with a whole country these days. Not bad, Rihanna. No bad at all.

This beef started with some Instagram posts by Rihanna, in which she superimposed pictures of Queen Elizabeth’s head onto her body. These weren’t just any posts either. They were some of Rihanna’s most iconic moments.

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it's not that deep.

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:44pm PDT

While the pictures garnered their fare share of positive reviews, there were definitely some not so pleasant ones. The majority of negative responses called the pictures disrespectful and insulting. Commentators implored her to stop.

Rihanna didn’t stop though. That’s not her style.

We will call this beef “ongoing” for now.