From Rihanna’s Radio Silence to Ariana Grande’s Pair of Albums in 6 Months: The Many Paces of a Pop Star


The last Rihanna album came out way back in January 2016, when Anti arrived and blessed RiRi fans with breakout hits "Work," featuring Drake (No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100), and "Love on the Brain" (No. 5). Since then, we got a trio of high-profile Rihanna features on Calvin Harris' "This Is What You Came For," DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts" and N.E.R.D.'s "Lemon" — all in 2017 or earlier — but no solo songs.

Compare that to current pop princess Ariana Grande, who dropped her album Sweetener almost exactly one year ago, in August 2018, only to follow it up less than six months later with yet another album: February's thank u, next — not to mention her new top 10 single "Boyfriend" with Social House and the epic pop team-up on the way between Ari, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey on "Angel" from the upcoming Charlie's Angels reboot soundtrack.

On the new episode of Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast (listen below), we discuss the Ariana to Rihanna Spectrum when it comes to the pace of our biggest pop divas. We not only discuss how Rihanna remains in the public eye in the absence of new music and how Ariana keeps up musical demand without watering down her brand, but also where other pop stars fit into that spectrum, including Taylor Swift (whose Lover album drops Friday), Beyoncé, Halsey, Camila Cabello, Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga.

Also on the show, befitting the diva theme, we have a Chart Stat of the Week all about the superstar team-up between Lady Gaga and Beyoncé on "Telephone," which is coming up on its 10th anniversary.

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard's senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and deputy editor, digital Katie Atkinson every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on