Rihanna has given her infamous 2009 assault a positive spin, insisting the incident and its scandalous aftermath has made her a better songwriter. The "Umbrella" hitmaker was beaten black and blue by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, who is still serving his punishment for the attack, and the couple split immediately after the fight. But Rihanna insists the drama gave her an edge that she didn't have before.
She tells Vogue magazine, "It actually gave me a lot of liberation. What I mean is, I was able to tap into the personal part of my music. I started to tell stories through my music that were actually my stories. My album before that, there was still a little bit of protection, there was still an innocence to me. And what that time in my life did was kind of wake people up - it's not all a bed of roses. My life is like yours."
"It made me look at the world in a much bigger way because my life was suddenly superduper magnified; all eyes were on me. I needed that in my life to know how to say, 'F**k off!' To know how to keep my head high even in the worst of situations. I keep using the word unapologetic, but there's a freedom that has come with all of that. Where you feel like you don't have to make an excuse for being yourself."