In 2010, Rihanna was involved in three successful, chart-entering collaborations. Eminem’s Love the Way You Lie benefited from her vocals and was an immediate number one hit upon release. Who’s That Chick? featured the Barbadian singer and became another club banger under the signature of EDM DJ David Guetta. And finally, one of the singles released off Kanye West’s acclaimed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album, All of the Lights, was a collaboration between the rapper, Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Alicia Keys and Drake among others.
However, the successes under her own name were far from small either. Loud was released and became the album with most number one hits out of her whole discography and still holds that record as of March, 2016. Only Girl (In the World), What’s My Name? (featuring Drake) and S&M all spent time at the top of the charts. In promoting the album’s release, Rihanna promised Loud would be “sassy, fun, flirty and energetic.”
And Only Girl (In the World), with its Europop and rave influences and lyrics about yearning for the lover’s attention, definitely fits that description. It was not only the first song released off Loud as a single, but also the very first one created for the album. According to co-writer and producer Erik Hermansen of the StarGate team, Rihanna felt its hit potential before even recording her vocals to the track. In another interview, she described Only Girl (In the World) as “the next step in the evolution of Rihanna” as opposed to just a carbon copy of her previous material.
Only Girl (In the World) spent 1 week at number one in Billboard Top 100, before being dethroned by Pink’s Raise Your Glass.