Rihanna: Voice Profile and Vocal Range (2022)

Vocal Range: C3 – G5 – E6[1]https://therangeplanet.proboards.com/thread/1824/rihanna

Vocal Fach: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano (3 octaves and a perfect fourth)

Vocal Rating: Singer

Analysis: Rihanna hardly needs an introduction: one of the best-selling musical artists of the millennium and of all time, she is one of the most well-recognized names in music. Discovered at the age of 15, she has since spent the majority of her life as a quintessential pop star and training her voice to become a more central pillar of her artistry. While initially dismissed as a vocalist early in her career, she has since garnered more praise as she has developed her voice and confidence through practice and discipline.

Various sources often contradict Rihanna’s vocal fach; she’s labeled as a contralto, mezzo-soprano, and soprano by various sources. While not quickly identifiable, Rihanna seems to have been a light-lyric soprano for most of her career. While her voice is low and husky at times, she is certainly not a contralto as her lower register lacks the bite and her timbre has a decidedly feminine, not androgynous, quality. In fact, her voice is quite often bright and girlish. Many would dismiss her soprano classification because of the weakness of her mixed voice and consequentially the upper register, but this seems to be due to insufficient vocal coordination and breath support rather than a lack of natural inclination. Even within the same studio recording, Rihanna can display a dark, womanly timbre but also a bright, girlish one depending on the approach (“What Now”). Her most recent performances during the Anti era show a darker, more womanly timbre, along with a strong lower register, suggesting a possible transition to a mezzo-soprano voice.

One of her signature traits as a vocalist that she developed in the early 2010s is the use of overdrive or compression. This technique is prominently featured in her 2012 hit “Diamonds,” as well as the Anti ballads “Love On The Brain” and “Higher.” While she intentionally introduces this tension as a stylistic choice, it is more taxing on the voice than is technically necessary. Rihanna’s voice is also quite nasal at times, a polarizing trait for listeners but one that seems to help with her vocal production and compensate for the extra tension that she introduces. While none of these traits are necessarily technically admirable, they help her achieve a unique style.[2]Sam Johnson, Vocal Analysis of Rihanna’s Best Live Vocals (Voice Teacher Reacts) As she’s grown more confident in her vocals, she has begun to experiment more with tonal colors, varying between this aforementioned forward, nasal placement and a lower, backward one, in addition to the use of distortion.[3]Beth Roars, Vocal Coach reacts to Rihanna – Love On The Brain (Live)

Her lower register is nicely colored down to around D3, and has grown stronger over the years. As she ascends into the fifth octave, however, the shortcomings of her technique begin to show, losing consistency and polish around her bridge at C5. With the right training and discipline, she would very likely be able to develop this part of her voice better and not only navigate this transition but also sing above it. While she sang up to G5 in her early career, she recently tends to only belt up to D5.

Overall Rihanna is a vocalist who has worked hard to harness her vocal prowess over the years. While she was an unpolished performer early in her career as a teenager, she has since grown into a stronger, more confident vocalist.

What do you think of Rihanna’s voice? Would you add anything to our analysis? Let us know by commenting below!

What is Rihanna’s vocal range?

Rihanna’s vocal range is three octaves and a major third, spanning C3 – G5 – E6.

What is Rihanna’s voice type or vocal fach?

Rihanna was a light lyric soprano for most of her career but seems to have developed recently into a mezzo-soprano.

How many octaves can Rihanna sing?

Rihanna’s vocal range is three octaves and a major third, spanning C3 – G5 – E6.

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