Rihanna has apologized after receiving backlash for using text from a sacred Islamic Hadith in a song during her recent lingerie fashion show.
The highly anticipated event, “Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2,” the brand’s third fashion show that streamed on Amazon Prime on Oct. 2, featured, among other things, models dancing to “Doom,” a 2017 song by London-based producer Coucou Chloe. The song included a remix with part of the Hadith, or the record of traditions and sayings from Muhammad, founder of Islam.
Fans took to social media to express their dismay. Some critics felt the inclusion of the Hadith in the sexualized lingerie show was offensive. Rihanna posted an apology in her Instagram Stories Tuesday morning.
“I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our Savage x Fenty show,” she wrote. “I would more importantly like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this! I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.”
Chloe took to Twitter a day earlier to post her own apology.
I want to deeply apologize for the offence caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘DOOM'. The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith. 1/2
— COUCOU CHLOE (@coucou_chloe) October 5, 2020
“I want to deeply apologize for the offense caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘Doom,’” the musician wrote. “The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith. I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me. We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms.”
But the attention to Rihanna’s lingerie show — and brand — is nothing new. The multihyphenated singer, songwriter, actress and fashion entrepreneur made waves when she launched the Savage x Fenty lingerie brand in 2018 for her use of a diverse array of models and extended size offerings. (Savage x Fenty’s bras come in sizes from 30A to 42H and XS-3X in undies and sleepwear.)
A year later, the highly publicized 2019 Savage x Fenty fashion show in New York, which later streamed on Amazon, generated even more media attention. It also came right as lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret was calling it quits on its own fashion show.
This year, the brand got even more inclusive after Rihanna revealed the launch of Savage x Fenty’s first men’s basics collection — appropriate for both men and women — and use of male models, including Christian Combs, son of Sean “Diddy” Combs, just in time for the show.