If you had to name the 21st century's most "influential" musician, who would you go with? Judging by the most popular music over the past 18 years, it's probably either got to be a pop artist or a rapper.
Well, NPR says it's RIHANNA. Which, like it or not, is probably a good choice . . . considering all the success she's had over her 12-year career.
They say, quote, "Rihanna shaped the texture and taste of the air by consistently doing what pop, at its very best, is supposed to do: Taking disparate genres: Rock, EDM, dancehall, trap and even dubstep . . . and turning them into something that makes sense to us, to everyone.
"If she's not seen as taking musical risks, it's only because so many of them PAID OFF. Rihanna is the most important pop artist of the century because of these contributions to music . . . and her music is beloved."
And they also say, quote, "She stretched the boundaries of genre, but she also demanded that her vast audience grapple with the complexity of her inner life . . . both when it was empowering and when it was difficult."
You can read the whole argument for Rihanna at NPR.org. A few other candidates for the 21st century's most influential musician include: Beyoncé, Drake, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Adele.