Rihanna debuts ‘Stay’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’: Watch

Rihanna displayed two sides of her personality on this weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Anne Hathaway (slowly growing her hair back after shooting “Les Miserables”).

The new single “Diamonds” found the singer employing a kitschy, retro-futuristic vibe worthy of Kanye West, while the new ballad “Stay” stripped things down.  

For the latter, Rihanna — with Bob Marley emblazoned on her form-fitting dress — took the spotlight as her rather large accompanying band lurked in the shadows behind her. It’s a simple, elegant performance that emphasizes emotion over spectacle and serves as a great introduction to the new song.

“Stay” is a slow-burning ballad, driven by piano and sparse instrumentation (light guitar, cymbal percussion), that highlights the pop star’s pipes.

Watch it here:

But Rihanna also knows how to party. In the singer’s fourth appearance “SNL,” she also performed “Diamonds,” the latest single from the upcoming album “Unapologetic.” 

The more upbeat, club-friendly pop anthem was given a completely different treatment than “Stay,” reveling in Rihanna’s sleek ability to transform her style without sacrificing her musical identity. The “SNL” performance of “Diamonds” employed a strange, blue screen virtual stage set-up, with Rihanna rocking army fatigues while prancing around in front of a hip-looking combo. 

Watch it here:

Which Rihanna performance did you like better?

What do you think of the new song “Stay”?