In 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.
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