Pop superstar Rihanna just missed out on scoring a hit with the single Towards the Sun earlier this year, and now she’s following that up by heading towards Sunderland as she’s making a return visit to the city’s Stadium of Light next year.
The stadium is one of only six UK venues to make the itinerary for her forthcoming tour to promote her eighth album, Anti, expected to be released later this year or early next year.
The Barbados-born 27-year-old, alias Robyn Rihanna Fenty, will play in Sunderland on Saturday, June 18.
Her other English dates are at Coventry, Manchester and London, and she can also be seen in Cardiff in Wales and Glasgow in Scotland.
This will be her second show at Sunderland’s home ground, following her sellout debut there in June 2013.
She has also previously played in the region at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena in 2007, 2010 and twice in 2011.
Canadian singer the Weeknd, alias Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, and US rapper Big Sean, short for Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, will be her support acts next time round.
Club commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Rihanna back to the Stadium of Light.
“Her first visit to Wearside was a huge success, breaking the record for concert-goers at the stadium, with more than 56,000 people attending.
“Rihanna is one of the biggest artists of her generation, and this announcement has cemented the Stadium of Light as one of the top venues in the UK for major music acts.”
“Since the initial announcement, we have seen huge interest in this concert, and we are delighted to be part of such a gigantic global tour.
“Rihanna’s achievements speak volumes, and we look forward to be welcoming her back in 2016, a year which is quieter in terms of stadium concerts, so we expect a lot of demand for this show.
“We’re particularly pleased to have her play on a Saturday night. It’s the best day you can have in terms of sales, plus it means people will be able to make a weekend of it.”
Tickets for the gig, priced £55 to £75, plus fees, go on sale at 9am tomorrow. For details, go to www.livenation.com, www.safcconcerts.com or rihannanow.com
Rihanna’s visit is the only show confirmed by the stadium for next year so far, but others may follow.
Overtures to bring Coldplay and the Stone Roses to Wearside have drawn a blank, however.
Towards the Sun, taken from the soundtrack of the children’s film Home, stalled at No 76 following its release in February, but two of the three singles released as tasters for Anti have made the top 30. FourFiveSeconds, a collaboration with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, made it to No 3 in January, and Bitch Better Have My Money was a No 27 hit in March.
Rihanna has also topped the singles chart with Umbrella, accompanied by Jay-Z, and Take a Bow in 2007; Run This Town, with Jay-Z and Kanye West, in 2009; Only Girl (in the world) and What’s My Name?, featuring Drake, in 2010; We Found Love, with Calvin Harris, in 2011; Diamonds in 2012; and The Monster, with Eminem, in 2013.
Four of her seven albums to date have been chart-toppers too, including her last one, 2012’s Unapologetic.