It was mid-May lunchtime when global diva Rihanna (35) appeared at a hamburger store on the basement floor of a high-rise building in Nihonbashi (Chuo Ward). She was pushing a stroller with a big belly and is currently pregnant. Her eldest son, who was born last May, and her babysitter were quite conspicuous as they lined up at the counter.
The day before this, her boyfriend, rapper Asap Rocky (34), who came to Japan with her, gave a one-night-only performance at 1OAK Tokyo, a nightclub in Roppongi, Tokyo. It seems that this visit to Japan was for this performance, and Rihanna also visited the venue and showed a divine response by signing autographs for the fans who came to see her” (music magazine editor).
At the age of 16, Rihanna signed a contract with the major label Def Jam. She has sold more than 250 million records to date and is the top “best-selling individual artist in history based on certified units.” In 2009, she was reported by the U.S. economic magazine Forbes to have total assets of $1.7 billion (about ¥186 billion at the exchange rate of the time), and is said to be the richest female musician in the world, surpassing that Madonna and Beyoncé.
Such a super celebrity visited not a trendy high-end hamburger store but a chain restaurant. She ordered takeout and waited at a table inside the restaurant with a number tag, just like an ordinary foreign tourist. However, this is the world’s diva, after all. In the basement of a complex of hotels, offices, and stores, passersby noticed her and began to gather one after another. As I picked up my merchandise and pushed my stroller outside the store, I was met by a crowd of people with cameras and autograph pens in their hands. Still, she showed no sign of surprise, smiled at the crowd, and left.
The next day, Rihanna visited a ramen restaurant. Seeing her folksy side, her Japanese fans must have become even more captivated by her.