Over the past seven years, Rihanna has released two no. 1 albums, won five Grammy Awards, appeared in six movies, been awarded by Harvard, fallen in love with a billionaire, launched a highly successful beauty line, and made fashion history as the first woman of color to helm a maison under the world’s largest luxury group, LVMH. Oh, and perhaps most impressively, throughout all that, she’s never once lost her temper as the world has repeatedly ignored her repeated reminders of how to actually pronounce her name.
For the record: It’s “Ree-anna,” not “Ree-ah-na,” as Rihanna was first documented clarifying all the way back in 2012. (She also posted a video of herself correcting a friend’s pronunciation in 2015.) And yet, somehow, it only began to sink in this week, when British Vogue posted a video of the 31-year-old singer-slash-designer introducing herself—and even then, it still took some time. Nearly a week had gone by by the time a Twitter user with the handle @boopyape tweeted “so we’ve been pronouncing Rihanna’s name wrong this whole time,” which quickly made enough rounds to become the subject of a story on Buzzfeed the next morning.
By then, the discourse had already been split into two warring factions: those insisting that the “we” only refers to Americans, not Brits, and those insisting that Brits are just as guilty of mispronouncing Rihanna’s name as the rest.
The debate is still currently underway; there are a few hours left to vote in @boopyape‘s poll of whether you’ve been correctly or incorrectly saying her name. (With three hours left, the percentage of those who’ve been pronouncing it correctly is a surprisingly robust 58 percent.) For those struggling to change their ways, luckily, it turns out Rihanna has given us a way to get around it all along: No wonder her Instagram handle is @badgalriri, not @rihanna.