It was the surprise of the night when Rihanna, decked out in an outfit reminiscent of Madonna’s 1984 “Like a Virgin” VMA performance, graced the VMA stage on Sunday to lend her vocals to Eminem’s show-stopping performance. After performing “Not Afraid,” Em segued into his collabo with Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie.”
It was especially surprising to see Rihanna on the stage since she had not planned to be at the show due to a prior commitment. She was filming “Battleship” in Hawaii, but as luck would have it, she got a day off and was able to make the show, much to Em’s pleasure.
“It really killed me that I couldn’t be here and actually, luckily, I got the day off and Eminem called me the day before and said, ‘Please, I’m having a really hard time doing this without you. We had a really great song,’ ” she recalled. “And I just was like, ‘Oh damn!’ It killed me, and then they allowed us to leave and do it, and we jetted in and we’re gonna jet right back out.”
And as quickly as the last-minute performance came together, Rihanna had to head back to the set to continue work on the film. But not before trying to get her VMA look just right. “This morning we had a quick rehearsal,” she said. “And I started doing my hair ’cause I’m doing the film and I don’t have any hair, any nails.”
Rihanna also tweeted about the appearance, writing, “SURPRISE!!! Just had to do it, guys.”