Rihanna reportedly releasing new album ‘Anti’ this week

Drake collaboration 'Work' expected on Wednesday

Rihanna is finally due to release her long-awaited new album ‘Anti’, according to reports.

A protracted release has plagued Rihanna’s eighth studio album but Billboard now reports that ‘Anti’ will “arrive this week, likely as a surprise release before Friday”.

The publication also claim that a new single, a collaboration with Drake thought to be called ‘Work’, will be released later on Wednesday (January 27).

Rihanna herself recently hinted that her album is finished when she sent a tweet on Monday (January 25) that appeared to suggest that she was listening to her new album.

The star tweeted a picture of herself wearing a crown and bejewelled headphones. See below.

Speculation about ‘Anti’s release date reached a new high late last year when Rihanna launched a new website for the record in mid-November. Speculation suggested that the album would be streamed on Tidal with a wider release planned for December 4. However, that failed to materialise.

Rumours have been rife about the singer’s forthcoming album, with singles ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ and ‘American Oxygen’ both released in 2015, as was ‘FourFiveSeconds’, a collaboration with Kanye West and Paul McCartney.

Speaking to Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2 in December, Sia let slip that she had recently played Rihanna a collection of songs she had written with the view to them making it onto ‘Anti’.

“She was there to listen to songs and see if there was anything that she was into,” Sia added. “It was a business meeting for sure. She took four [songs] but I don’t know if they’ll end up [on the album].”

Rihanna officially launched her eighth studio album in September at an exclusive gallery party in LA, during which both the ‘Anti’ title and the accompanying artwork were revealed.

Speaking to NME in September, Rihanna revealed that she has not finished work on her new album but promised she will deliver “something great” for fans eager to hear new music.

Asked for a status update on the album fans had dubbed ‘R8’ in the absence of any concrete information. “It’s not done!” she said. “To me, it’s never done until it’s done. Until the final moment.”

Rihanna will tour the UK in the summer. The Weeknd and Big Sean will support Rihanna on all European dates on the Antiworld Tour, which makes it to Britain in June.

The UK and Ireland tour dates for 2016 are as follows:

Ricoh Arena, Coventry (June 14)
The Principality Stadium, Cardiff (June 16)
Stadium of Light, Sunderland (June 18)
Aviva Stadium, Dublin (June 21)
Wembley Stadium, London (June 24)
Hampden Park, Glasgow (June 27)
Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester (June 29)