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Rihanna reckons you’ve been saying her name wrong all this time

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Kayleigh Dray
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PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 23: Rihanna attends the Fenty Exclusive Preview on May 23, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images For Fenty)

RiRi has a question for you all: “Ooh na na, what’s my name?”

Just a few weeks ago, Rihanna decided to sit down and explain why she decided to call her beauty and fashion brands after her family name, Fenty, rather than her world-famous first name.

“I used to be afraid to step into the whole celebrity makeup world. I saw brands like Hilary Duff and Hannah Montana have so much success [in the aughts], but it got to a place where they were so oversaturated in the market that it diluted their personal brands,” Rihanna told the New York Times.

“It made me think, ‘I’m not going to do this, because you lose your respect and credibility,’ and so every collaboration I did outside of music, I used Fenty so that you didn’t have to hear the word ‘Rihanna’ every time you saw something that I did. So Rihanna stayed the music, the person. But these other brands are called Fenty.”

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It makes a lot of sense, as branding goes. Now, though, Rihanna has now dropped another moniker-related bombshell: a lot of people have been pronouncing her name incorrectly since she first came to fame in 2005.

That’s right: while many have referred to the star as “Re-Ah-Na” over the years, it has now been confirmed by the Diamond singer herself (via a video interview for Vogue) that her name is actually pronounced “Re-Anna.”

Sharing the clip to Twitter, one social media user dolefully noted: “So we’ve been pronouncing Rihanna’s name wrong this whole time.”

Naturally, when this social media says “we”, they really mean “the people of the USA”. Because, as pretty much everyone on Twitter has since pointed out, it’s mostly Americans who pronounce it “Re-Ah-Na.”     

And, of course, this isn’t the first time that people have lost their minds over a Rihanna fact: in 2017, shortly after she launched Fenty, some people couldn’t help but wonder how she came up with such a cool name for her beauty range, and turned to Google for help. 

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It was at this point that they discovered what so many of us already knew – Fenty is part of Rihanna’s real name.

In fact, her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Cue a massive and overblown freak-out on Twitter:

They really shouldn’t have been all that surprised, to be honest: Rihanna’s full name has been public knowledge ever since her first album, Music of the Sun, dropped 14 years ago.

And, naturally, there were more than a few who were willing to make it abundantly clear that they were already in the know when it comes to all things RiRi.

Case closed.

Images: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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