Rihanna Premieres Song ‘American Oxygen’ at March Madness Music Fest


Rihanna premiered her new song, American Oxygen, at the March Madness Music Fest on Saturday night in Indiana. While bits of the new song were played on NCAA basketball tournament commercials prior to Saturday, the March Madness Music Fest was the first time in public that Rihanna sang the entire song.

Other than at the March Madness Music Fest, fans of Rihanna, 27, will only be able to listen to the song, American Oxygen, on Jay Z’s new music streaming subscription service, Tidal, where it will be offered exclusively to subscribers. For the lucky fans who were at the NCAA basketball tournament-related event, Rihanna also sang some of her other hit songs, like Stay, Diamonds, and Live Your Life.

The song is not a rocking sort of song, but is rather a slow-paced ballad commenting about life in America. In the snippets of the song heard on promos for the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament, Rihanna was shown standing in front of an American flag as she sang the meaningful lyrics. In American Oxygen, RiRi sings about “Chasing the American dream,” and America’s “Respect for a nickel and dime.”

Rihanna was overwhelmed by the positive fan response that she received in Indiana. She wrote on her Twitter account how she “would never forget how much fun I had with you tonight!” She also was amazed that her fans at the March Madness Music Fest knew every word to the songs that she sang. Rihanna tweeted that it gave her “goosebumps.”

Although Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act has recently been amended, Rihanna also took some time out between songs on Saturday to slam the law. She used a few choice expletives to describe the law, which many people feel was designed to legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community by trying to disguise the fact that was it’s intention behind a cloak of religious freedom.

Besides Rihanna, many other celebrities have spoken out against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the motives of Indiana Governor Mike Pence. They include Star Trek‘s George Takei, Dustin Lance Black, Miley Cyrus, Samantha Ronson and Andy Cohen.

Jay Z just launched his music streaming service, Tidal, last week. It is designed for audiophiles, and will offer exclusive content from some of the hottest singers and groups around, like Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Madonna, and Usher, among many others. Jay Z’s wife, BeyoncĂ©, premiered a song on Tidal, Die With You. It is a love song meant to celebrate her and Jay Z’s seventh anniversary, and it was filmed by Jay Z. Subscriptions to Tidal cost $9.99 per month, though a premium subscription costs $19.99. However, the streaming service is currently free to try out for 30 days.

Rihanna debuted her new song, American Oxygen, at the March Madness Music Fest on Saturday, and just hours later, she premiered it exclusively at Jay Z’s music streaming service, Tidal. Many musical artists have voiced their support for Tidal, and plan to offer exclusive musical content there, as Tidal will supposedly not treat them just as commodities, but is designed to appreciate them for their talents and to pay them more fairly than other streaming services. Tidal just might turn out to be the “wave” of the future for music streaming services.

Written By Douglas Cobb

E! Online
Access Hollywood
Photo By NRK P3 – Flickr License

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