Beyond the obvious vocal talent and preternatural understanding, at such a young age, of how to market herself, Rihanna, it must be said, is known for being sexy. And she knows it.
The Barbados-born star, named Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive on Tuesday, has spent the past half decade rising to the top of the pop consciousness, thumping club beats across our radios (well, iPods, really) and lighting up the internet and all its video players with erotic movements that are more slithering than dancing, natural movements setting off the freudian subconscious alarms in our heads.
To her, it's no big deal.
"At the end of a concert, I don't feel like I've been this sexy thing. Really, I don't even think about it," she tells the magazine, for which she poses naked this month.
Finally, after some reality check insisting, she makes a small admission.
"Unless it's a song that really calls for it, like 'Skin' or 'S&M,' or when I cover Darling Nikki,'" she allows. "There's a section that's called 'Sex' in the show, which is the obvious section for sexuality."
But that's as far as she'll go -- even if she admits that she loves choosing men from the audience on whom she can grind.
"Like, really? Honestly, even if it comes across sexual — it has to be a part of my subconscious thought," Rihanna says. "It's never deliberate in the rest of the show. I don't even really... I could see 'What's My Name?' — the dancing is pretty sexy. 'Rude Boy.' But I don't know. I guess people find different things sexy."
That's less than she'd admit in an interview with Glamour earlier this month; there, she at least allowed that she was being sexy, even if it was a character she was playing.
"That's not me. That's a part I play. You know, like it's a piece of art, with all these toys and textures to play with," she said. "See, people ... they want me to be a role model just because of the life I lead. The things I say in my songs, they expect it of me, and [being a role model] became more of my job than I wanted it to be. But no, I just want to make music. That's it."
The star also speaks about the infamous Chris Brown incident, in which he, as her boyfriend in 2009, beat her bloody.
"It's incredible to see how he pulled out of it the way he did. Even when the world seemed like it was against him, you know? I really like the music he's putting out," she says. "I'm a fan of his stuff. I've always been a fan. Obviously, I had some resentment toward him for a while, for obvious reasons. But I've put that behind me. It was taking up too much of my time. It was too much anger. I'm really excited to see the breakthrough he's had in his career. I would never wish anything horrible for him. Never. I never have."
For more, click over to Esquire.