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:: Rhianna - Top Of The Pops Webchat ::
:: 3rd September 2002 ::

Annemarie: Hi Rhianna. I have always wanted to know what it is like to be a pop star. Is it hard work?
Rhianna: Do you know what, it's surprising just how hard it is! It's not all doing your nails and having someone to carry your bags. It's not like that at all. I have to get on the train and carry my own bags, just like everybody else. Promoting is particularly hard work, having to be away from home often. Or working long hours in the studio. But I'm not complaining, because it's the best job in the world. It is very hard work, but it's also a lot of fun.

TOTP: For all of you online at the moment, we can vouch for the fact that Rhianna did turn up today, fresh from the train, with a huge red bag. Just what have you got in there?
Rhianna: Loads of stuff! I've got Vaseline, which is essential, as you can use it as lipgloss or on your eyes. I've brought mascara with me, socks, plenty of pants, a toothbrush...I have loads of toothbrushes...Oh and shoes and jeans. I've brought loads...I'm only here for two days though!

TOTP Fan: Have you ever mimed?
Rhianna: In a word - No! And touch wood, I'll never have to mime. I think that if you're a singer then you should sing. You spend so much time working on material, perfecting stuff and then travelling about doing interviews and promoting your songs. So why would you want to fake it when you do get the chance to perform? If I'm professing to be a singer then that's what I should do. If I see someone that I really admire miming, I just assume that maybe they've got a sore throat.

Kerry: Rhianna where do you take your inspiration from? Your music is very funky - I like it!
Rhianna:
Definitely from my mum and dad's old records, my brother's work, or even watching old music programmes like TOTP2. You can really be inspired by anything though...just walking down the street for example. Anything can inspire you...

Leanne Smith: How old were you when you started singing?
Rhianna:
Somebody asked me this the other day. I think it was when I was 5 years old, in a clown's costume singing 'Nelly The Elephant'. I started really young, but just loved the limelight. It's something that makes me feel good and always has, ever since I was tiny, really!

Andrew (RhiannaFan): Would you like to collaborate with your brother again in the future?
Rhianna:
I'd love to! He's just remixed my single 'Word Love' for me. We work really well together and it's so cool to be there for each other. Like, if I need backing vocals, he'll help out. He's great to work with and as he's on his third album now, so it's cool to have him help me with my first. The whole album has been written by the two of us.

TOTP: For those online that aren't aware, tell us who your brother is...
Rhianna: Oh my brother is LSK. I owe a lot to him, as I've been doing backing vocals for him since I was 14. That's how I got my solo deal really.

LuLu: Is it true that you like your hair as greasy as possible? Because I think your hair always looks lovely!
Rhianna: Oh God! I did an interview for a magazine and mentioned that my hair is generally better a bit greasy. When I went to the shops to buy it, that's the only thing they'd focussed on. Let's just make it clear...I do clean my hair every 2 days, but I don't wash it every 2 days. Curly hair tends to be a bit dry, so if you wash it too often it goes all frizzy!

Steffi: Hello! Would you ever come to a fan's house and do a live performance?
Rhianna:
I'd love to do it but you've got to cook me tea. Jammy dodgers, party rings...I don't like Twiglets though! I love Marmite, but Twiglets are like horrble fingers or something!

Fashvictor: Who do you get your fashion ideas from?
Rhianna:
Ummm...all kinds of things really. I went to a rock festival the other week in baggy trousers but I'm always interested in lots of things. I'm a bit of a magpie really, I always go for bright, shiny, colourful things. I just keep my eyes open and work with what I have naturally as well. It's like, I hated my hair when I was a kid, but I'm getting used to it now and know that it suits me.

Survivor: What were Destiny's Child like when you supported them?
Rhianna: They were really, really cool! It was good to see them live as well. Beyonce had hair like me, so we exchanged a few tips. They're very talented girls...I only said 'hello' though to be honest. There's definitely a good mutual appreciation thing going on though!

Northern Soul: Which do you prefer, Leeds or London?
Rhianna:
Leeds! No, I love working in London. It's really vibrant. Everything's always open but because it's my work place, it's different for me. You've got to be kind of full on in London, which I do like, but I like to chill out too. I'm a Leeds girl at heart!

Emily: Have you ever been starstruck, and who was it?
Rhianna:
Umm...this happened to me the other day...who was it now? Oh, I was in the same room as Kate Bush. I was really panicky. It only happens to me with people I really admire. I did a gig once too and Chesney Hawkes was there. I was really embarrassed...I used to have a crush on him. I told the DJ and he announced it to 50,000 people! Chesney heard it as well and came and gave me a cuddle! I went really red. I think if I ever meet Kate Bush properly, I'll have to keep my mouth shut...I know I'd just say stupid things!

Jessica: Do you think having an unusual name is an advantage or a disadvantage? Did you ever get bullied at school?
Rhianna: Well, to answer the first part of that...it's definitely an advantage. I look different, my name's different. In this job, it's good to be different. When I was a kid I did get picked on a bit. Nothing too nasty, but I was a white girl with Afro hair and looked kinda odd. As I said, I hated my hair then...I was just like a tiny little kid with this huge hair. I really feel for kids that go through that, it's tough. But as you get older, you've got to puff up...it's made me a better person. Now I'm older, my hair's a good thing...you can turn those things that were negative into really positive things that define you.

Vicky: Where does your name come from?
Rhianna:
It's a Welsh name and it's also a Muslim name. But nobody's Welsh or Muslim in my family. My mum actually took it from the Fleetwood Mac song, 'Rhiannon'. She didn't like the 'non' bit though, so she just changed it to 'Rhianna'.

Lisa: Who played those bongo drums on 'Word Love', they're ace!
Rhianna:
Yeah they're really cool aren't they! Do you know what though, the drums are actually from an old '60s record - a compilation called 'Blowup'. We basically stole a loop and re-used it. Maybe I could find out and let you know who it was!

Stuart: Has anyone ever told you that you sound a bit like Michael Jackson?
Rhianna:
Yeah, and also a bit like Diana Ross. It's really nice when you hear what other people think you sound like.

Lovelyboy: Are you seeing anyone at the moment, and if not, why not?
Rhianna:
Because I haven't got time. I know it's a lame excuse and you always read it in magazines, but it's true. I'm making do with chocolate and Sex In The City videos! Bless your heart, Lovelyboy!

Digger: Do you have to do a lot of keep-fit to maintain that figure?
Rhianna:
Woo! Actually, again I've had to stop going to the gym because I don't have any spare time. I go through fads of doing sit-ups before I go to bed, but it's really off and on. I should look after myself more. I'm into reasonably healthy food though. I'm quite lucky like that really, as I don't crave junk food.

Brainiac: When was the last time you got really drunk and fell off a chair?
Rhianna:
Ah, well I didn't fall off a chair, but I fell over doing the conga last week. I wasn't drunk, the floor was slippy! Honest! It was me and my friend Sharon. It really hurt my knee actually. She said she felt me behind her one minute and then I was gone the next! We were crippled with laughter...

Sophie Harrod: Hi Rhianna! When is your new album coming out? What can we expect from it?
Rhianna:
My album is out on the 16th September. It's called 'Get On' and it's got 10 tracks on it. Hopefully, everyone will think that they're great. There's a rollercoaster of emotions in the album but it's fun. So keep your fingers crossed for it.

Nerd-boy: How much involvement did you have in your website? It's wicked!
Rhianna:
Thanks. To be honest, I am heavily involved with all aspects of my career, but the website is something I need to find out more about. I'm no good with computers. I do check it and update it, but I'm not online at home. I choose the pictures and the colours, but I definitely need to learn more about this sort of thing. At the end of the day, I like to keep an eye on the site, because if people are buying my records and supporting me, I think I should support them too.

TOTP: Any final things to say Rhianna...
Rhianna:
Thanks for all your support and buy the single cause it's out this week...