From pain comes creativity. That's how Rihanna described letting down her guard and drawing from a private place to express herself in her new album, Rated R.
"I'm usually a very guarded person, so having to go in and reach deep into your emotions and personal things to say, it was very vulnerable," she told People.
Rihanna said the inspiration for her upcoming album, which will be released on November 23, come from "personal experiences mixed with rock and hip-hop."
Since February, when she was beaten by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, Rihanna has had to deal with court proceedings and criticism for taking Brown back.
In Rihanna's 20-20 interview last week, she revealed that Brown shoved her into a car window, punched her several times in the face, bit her and more.
Rihanna is speaking out like never before.
She said part of the reason she is going public about the assault in all its graphic detail is to help other women who have been through the same thing.
"I'm really a woman, a human being," she said. "I go through real situations. It's great to have the opportunity to be a voice for women around the world."
While accepting the Woman of the Year award from Glamour on Monday, presented by the model Iman, Rihanna entered the stage and shed a tear.
She claimed it was the PMS at work, and then happily continued to thank her friends, mentor Jay-Z, her mother and grandmother for all their support.
And she actually made a joke, ribbing herself for her ivory Stephane Rolland dress. "As usual, I decided do the tightest dress I could find," she said.
Click to enlarge more Rihanna pictures of said dress Monday ...
[Photos: Fame Pictures, Splash News Online]