Last year at this time, it was announced that Taylor Swift would be joining “The Voice” as the show’s main mentor—an obvious promotional tie-in to the launch of her buzzy album 1989, which was released during the NBC reality competition’s run. Now, it’s been revealed that Rihanna will join the show this fall in the same role, so naturally the next question is whether her mysterious upcoming album R8 will finally see the light of day.
NBC announced Thursday that RiRi will serve as a “key advisor” alongside the show’s core coaches Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Pharrell Williams—a role previously held by Swift, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Fun frontman Nate Ruess and involves mentoring contestants across all four teams.
Other celebrity advisors for Season 9 include John Fogerty, who will work with Levine’s team, Brad Paisley on team Shelton, Selena Gomez who will be paired with Stefani, and Missy Elliot who joins team Pharrell.
But back to Rihanna: She’s already released three (fairly underwhelming) tracks from R8—“Bitch Better Have My Money,” “FourFiveSeconds,” and “American Oxygen” although the album is still a mystery to fans. One recent report claimed those three songs might be stand-alone singles and that the pop star plans to start from scratch, but nothing’s been confirmed yet.
Still, to commit to a national platform like “The Voice” usually means you’re promoting something, so here’s hoping new music’s on the way.
“The Voice” returns Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. on NBC.