Rihanna is a powerful alto singer that has a lot of richness to her tone and power behind her chest voice. Technically, she can be considered a lyric contralto since she has a very great low range with a light head voice that can also reach some great high notes. Many people sleep on Rihanna's vocal abilities, but she can hang with some of the best and has grown a lot as a singing professional over the last decade of her fame.
Rihanna's voice spans nearly 3 octaves. Her range can go as low as C3 to An Eb6 in a heavy belt and as high as a B5 in her head voice. She may have stretched beyond these notes in live performance adlibs and key changes.
Rihanna can sing lower than most famous singers. For her recorded vocals, she has gone as low as a C3 in the example shown below at the highlighted timestamp for the song "Wild Thoughts". While her voice range can reach very low, it doesn't sound unnatural. She actually makes low notes sound easier than they really are for a woman. Most female singers that can hit at C3 sound like they are struggling a bit to do it (like me, haha).
Rihanna has a very powerful belt that has been heard and felt with songs like "Higher" from the album ANTI. She often belts around a high C at the climax of her emotionally resonant songs, which really fits her rich tone.
Many people wouldn't think to consider Rihanna in talks of whistle tone, AKA head voice, but she sneakily has the range for some great high notes and tried not to show it off too much, but we've heard it! A good example of this is her hook on Eminem's song "Monster" which features her very high layered vocals at the timestamp highlighted below.
Rihanna has gained a lot of power and control in her high notes over the years. When she first came out, many people would complain that she was nasally and could not sustain high notes well, especially in live performances. Rihanna didn't let these criticisms cripple her and continued to work on her vocal skills to the point where you can tell the difference when she sings live more recently.
Her range hasn't widened per se, but she's definitely learned how to make her voice range work for her and her song releases. Her vocal edge really comes from her energy, her ability to go from a belt to a sweet whisper tone, her unique sound, and her rich low and mid-range notes.
Related Posts About Popular Singers And Their Vocal Range:
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
If you are ever in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services for your music project or brand, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her song services page. As an Amazon Associate, Yona Marie earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon and other affiliate products are recommended to genuinely help readers and keep this site up and running as well.