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Official Chart Flashback 2010: Rihanna – Only Girl (In The World)

Looking back at Rihanna’s balls-out banger that set the tone for the next decade on how to deliver an instant smash.

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Following her moody and introspective Rated R album, Rihanna opted for something more crowd-pleasing to lead her fifth studio record Loud. Only Girl (In The World) was an iron clad, balls-out banger that would set the tone for the next decade on how to deliver an instant smash.

Helmed by Stargate, who at this point had become reliable hitmakers for Rihanna (including Don’t Stop The Music and Rude Boy), Only Girl is a blend of propulsive techno beats and heady Eurodance that felt like a natural evolution from her wildly successful Good Girl Gone Bad album. It’s near-four minutes of pounding, relentless beats forced everyone to sit up and take notice, and its effect on the charts was huge.

Only Girl debuted at Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart (behind Cheryl’s Promise This) with sales of 134,000. It climbed to Number 1 the following week to become her fourth chart-topper, spending two weeks there. One month later, it had sold one million copies in the UK – her second in a row to achieve the milestone following her Eminem collaboration Love The Way You Lie – and finished as 2010’s fourth best-seller.

As of this week, Only Girl’s UK chart sales stand at 1.53 million, split between 1.17 million pure sales and 42 million streams.

MORE: Rihanna’s Official UK Chart history in full

The track’s global success (it reached Number 1 in 16 countries) set off a ripple effect in pop – particularly with US singers such as Usher, Flo Rida, Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown – who would turn their hand to similar electro dance-pop shortly after.

Elsewhere on the Official Singles Chart the week Only Girl hit Number 1, there were more electropop new entries and big climbers: US singer Alexis Jordan made her chart debut at Number 3 with Happniess, The Saturdays scored their eighth Top 10 with Higher at Number 10, and will.i.am & Nicki Minaj’s quirky Check It Out landed at Number 11.

Further down, Shakespears Sister’s 1992 chart-topper Stay was back in the Top 40 at Number 12 thanks to a haunting rendition by X Factor finalist Cher Lloyd, and Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle was new at Number 26 with her debut single Insatiable. The singer took a unique approach to the single’s release, with CD copies exclusively available in Tesco.

Looking back at Rihanna's balls-out banger that set the tone for the next decade on how to deliver an instant smash.

O. Scott campbells Banger Girl Comic Book MH039

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