Rihanna's mentor speaks: An exclusive interview

Rihanna_lIn an exclusive interview with EW, veteranmusic producer Evan Rogers (Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson), whodiscovered Rihanna in Barbados and has worked closely with her ever since,is speaking out for the first time since the alleged incident with Chris Brown. 

EW: What do you make of everyone from Katie Couric and OprahWinfrey to Tyra Banks and Dr. Phil attempting to get through to Rihannaon their shows? Do you think it will help or is it just a circus?
EVAN ROGERS: I think that everyone has good intentions and means well, but it turns up the heat in terms of it seeming like the whole world is telling her what to do. At the end of the day, people forget that at 21, your perspective is very different. These kinds of things can happen to anyone, whether you’re a celebrity or not. 

EW: As someone who knows Rihanna and is close to her, do you think she’staking their advice into consideration? Has she been watching thoseshows and following what public figures like Oprah are saying about her?
ER: I think she’s very aware of everything that’s going on. Just like anyone else, she watches TV, she goes online. And I think that it matters to her, but there’s a line that she walks between being human and caring when you hear these kinds of things, and separating your personal life from your professional life. She’s doing the best she can and this is a very difficult time that she’s going through right now and she’s going to learn a lot from it.

EW: What effect could all of this have on Rihanna’s young fans?
ER: It obviously concerns her a lot. But at the end of the day, I think that most people still see her as the victim in this situation. You’ll always have a lot of haters who talk negatively about artists all day long on the Internet. But I think that when the dust settles, she’s going to be fine. The bottom line is Rihanna is a superstar and like other artists, the reception from her fans will mostly depend on how good an album she makes next time out and how great the songs are. As long as all that is taken care of, she’ll be fine and everything will take care of itself. She just needs to get in [the studio] and make a great album.

EW: Last week, reports surfaced that Rihanna and Chris Brown recently recorded a duet for his next CD…
ER: There’s no duet that’s been recorded other than the one [called "Bad Girl"] that was a bootleg track from months before. Those were just rumors.

EW: Is Rihanna recording any new music?
ER: She’s just getting started now.

More on Rihanna
Rihanna is NOT a role model
Chris Brown and Rihanna: No love duet after all?

Boston survey finds that many teens blame Rihanna
Oprah Winfrey: my Rihanna, Chris Brown show ‘a huge, teachable moment’

Comments (91 total) Add your comment
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  • chris

    great interview. although it would have been better if it was with rihanna and not one of her handlers

  • brodiequeen

    I agree with Chris. Also, it kinda comes off as if he is more concerned about her making another album than her actual well-being. Maybe music will prove to be therapeutic for her.

  • Diane

    Sorry to be classified as a “hater” but if Rihanna stays with Chris Brown her music is going to be suspect. What’s she going to sing? Love Hurts? Love is a Battlefield?

  • Bren

    She should be dropped by Covergirl she is NO role model

  • Duh Diana

    She’ll sing hit me baby one more time.

  • jeff

    Hey why worry about Rhianna. The next time she ends up in this situation and is fatally hurt by this woman beater, just remember what people have warned her about. The guy should be locked up for ten years. You don’t beat up women, period. I don’t care if he was provoked or not. You don’t hurt ladys. End of story. He will do this again, it’s just a matter of time.

  • fpj

    I am just as upset as anyone over what Chris did to Rihanna and the fact that she’s back with him. However I must say this, it is not up to Rihanna, Chris Brown, Miley Cirus or any of these young celebrities to be a role model for our children. That’s not why they got into the business. I’m pretty sure they went into the business because they love music and you can make boatloads of money doing what you love. It’s SOCIETY who puts these people on a pedicel, call them role models and then have the nerve to want to rip them apart when they show signs of imperfection. Yes my daughter listens to Rihanna and Chris Brown; however they are not her world. She admires them, yes of course, but I teach her the values and self respect she needs to make it in the world today; that’s how it should be. She knows that it NOT OKAY to be in a relationship with someone who put their hands on you. And guess what?? Even AFTER what happened between Rihanna and Chris, she still knows this!

  • Nathan

    The interviewer should’ve asked her if Chris Brown’s beaten the living s**t out of her lately, and if so, has she forgiven him yet?

  • Jeremy

    fpj – You have to understand that a large majority of the children that listen to her music don’t have the role model that you are to your children. After all, Chris Brown grew up with abuse in his family. Just because your family is peachy keen doesn’t mean everyone else goes home to home-cooked meals and cartoons, so you need to have respect and show care for those children also. Those are the children that we are all worried about.

  • Ed

    May I suggest that Rihanna’s mentor is not very good at what he does.

  • louise

    These artist ususally sing(rap) about sex, violence and dysfunctional relationship because that’s what the listners and buyers desire. However we expect them to make wise, rational decisions….it ain’t gonna happen. Both Chris and Rihanna suffer from very low self esteem. Money is great, but it can’t take the place of having loving parents. This is so unfortunate for the both of them.

  • Brina


  • Debbie Leiser

    She is a pop star who is at the top of her game right now. The choices she makes are her own. I’m pretty sure
    that living in that kind of world is full of every kind of expert trying to tell her what to do. She may listen
    to some of the facts you tell her or she may ignore the facts. It’s not up to the rest of us to decide what is best for this woman. None of us know what will happen in the long run. Yeah
    she has high profile media who claim to care, as well as experts trying to tell her what to do. The media is just
    one big circus. Some of you should give the girl a little breathing room.
    I think that way instead of causing her to (snap), you might see her rise above (all the haters). You may see the what really matters to her. Then
    someday you might see or read about her story as a (survivor).

  • lemonella

    Oh people get a grip already. This is not the first time a celeb has been slapped around. People seem to have forgotten Jim Brown in his hayday, always in the news for abusing women. True or false, now he is a “gracious icon” to some people. This is not to say Chris was right in hitting this young woman, but at the end of the day it is her business and all the so-called advice givers need to back off and let her work it out. After it is her life. One reader says covergirl will now drop her, maybe, maybe not. Once her face heals she will still be attractive and will still sing and people who enjoy her music will still enjoy her performance. As far as “role models.” Does anyone bother to tell their children that these people are “entertainer’s and not so much one to emulate. Puleeze shut up already.

  • Speedy

    Rihanna will be fine. This, just like everything else, will come to pass. Rihanna is young and will eventually see the light. It’s ok if she is back with Chris Brown, however, I do not think it will last. Let’s leave her alone, eventually she’ll come around.

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