Rihanna's got over 50 videos to her name, so there's quite a selection to choose from
Rihanna is set to pick up the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards for her 10-plus-year career in music videos. According to Wikipedia, she’s appeared in 52 music videos since her debut single, “Pon de Replay” came out in 2005. She’s frequently worked with directors Anthony Mandler and Melina Matsoukas, and has developed a videography that’s as beautiful as it is provocative; a good reflection of the singer herself.
So ahead of this year’s VMAs, we’re taking a look back at Rihanna’s videography and cherry-picking some of our favorite moments, via GIFs, of course.
(“Pon De Replay”)
Ah, yes, the brief period in which dancehall moves infiltrated American clubs, mostly by virtue of this and Sean Paul videos. It was a simpler time.
(“If It’s Lovin’ That You Want”)
It’s obviously loving that we want, Rihanna. Especially from you.
Infinite Rihannas? You mean just enough Rihannas.
First time in my life I’ve ever been jealous of a worn-out old theater chair.
Probably the perfect GIF, Rihanna or not.
(“Take a Bow”)
I look so what right now? I’m sorry, Rihanna, I was lost in your eyes.
At this point, “crime lord” would be a really good pivot for Rihanna.
If you’re going to watch one finger on a grainy, eternally-looping short video clip, make it Rihanna’s.
(“Run This Town”)
“Crime lord” or “benevolent dictator.” Whichever she feels more like doing. We’re cool either way.
This makes my knees hurt just looking at it, but the “Rude Boy” video is full of so many treats, I’m gonna sneak in another one below.
(“What’s My Name”)
Never before have I so much wanted to be both a lock of Rihanna’s hair and every one of the fingertips on Drake’s right hand, simultaneously.
Rihanna has gone through many, many hairstyles, but this one is definitely top five.
(“All of the Lights”)
If someone’s gonna upstage Kanye, it’s statistically likely to be A) Beyoncé, Rihanna or God. She definitely did in “All of the Lights.”
(“We Found Love”)
The “We Found Love” video definitely has some messed-up parts, but it also has Rihanna gleefully bouncing around in an American flag bikini/vest combo, so … we’re pretty okay with that.
I would watch close-ups of literally any part of Rihanna’s body.
God, the eye roll that launched a thousand ships.
In the “fewer clothes for Rihanna vs. more clothes for Rihanna debate,” I would generally side – as she usually does – on the “fewer” side, but the combination of American flag and leather jacket here really works for me. (And Rihanna.)
If there’s another GIF from “BBHMM,” I don’t want to hear about it.
Man, I could probably just put the whole “Work” video in here and call it a day.
Okay, one more. Just for the smolder.
(“This Is What You Came Here For”)
We came here for you, RiRi. Well, and your giant laser room. But mostly for you.
(“Kiss It Better”)
Even Rihanna’s back sets an impossibly high beauty standard for the rest of us to live up to. Make sure to catch her back, whatever amazing outfit (or seven) that she decides to turn up in, and the rest of her body parts on Sunday, Aug. 28 at the MTV Video Music Awards, when Rihanna collects the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.