Rihanna and her longtime friend A$AP Rocky became much more than friends about three years ago; they welcomed their first child together in 2022. The two have been close since A$AP joined Rihanna’s Diamond Tour in 2013. The singer also starred in A$AP’s music video “Fashion Killa” later that year.
Rumors of A$AP and Rihanna’s romance first started shortly after Rihanna split from billionaire boyfriend Hassan Jameel in January 2020, after three years together. A source told People then that “their lives were too different, and it was hard to maintain a relationship.” Shortly after their breakup, Rihanna was seen hanging out with A$AP Rocky more often. A$AP previously dated Kendall Jenner in 2016; their relationship ended in 2017
Here’s everything we know about the power couple, from when they were first speculated to be in a relationship to how they’re doing as new parents at the start of 2023.
On December 2, the pair walked the British Fashion Awards red carpet in London. Rihanna wore a Fenty mint green satin dress with matching gloves and wrap, paired with a diamond-studded choker necklace. A$AP sported an all-black tux with sneakers. Janet Jackson presented Rihanna’s first fashion award for her Urban Luxe nomination.
Rihanna and A$AP sparked tabloid dating rumors days after her split from Hassan Jameel was reported. According to Entertainment Tonight, Rihanna and A$AP attended the Yams Day Benefit Concert in Brooklyn together.
A source suggested the two were dating to The Sun, telling the British outlet, “they’re really enjoying each other’s company and taking things easy as it’s still early days.”
Shortly after The Sun‘s report came out, E! shut down the romance speculation. A source told E!, “Rihanna is single. She just got out of a long intense relationship with Hassan. She’s wants to be single and isn’t going to jump into something. She’s hanging out with A$AP Rocky, but she is not dating him. They have a long history and she’s just having fun.”
Months after dating rumors were initially denied, A$AP appeared alongside Rihanna in Fenty Skin‘s ad cameo. The ad also featured Lil Nas X, Tommy Genesis, and Halima Aden.
Rihanna interviewed the “Everyday” rapper in a GQ YouTube video. A$AP answered questions about his skincare routine, throwback outfits, and Fenty Skin. When asked about the most challenging part of working with Rihanna, the rapper said, “I think the hardest part about working with you is not goofin’ off and laughing the whole time. Like, this shit is comedy.” A$AP continued, “The hardest part is not having too much fun. You just forget that it’s still work at the end of the day.”
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On November 28, the rumored couple was spotted out with a group of friends at the Beatrice Inn in New York. According to Page Six, the two were “seated discreetly behind a curtain.”
A couple of days later, People confirmed that Rihanna and A$AP Rocky are officially dating. The source did not provide details about the couple’s timeline or how serious their relationship is.
On December 1, a source gave Entertainment Tonight details about Rihanna and A$AP’s relationship.
“They have always had amazing chemistry, and Rihanna relates to A$AP, and it [their relationship] feels natural, easy and fun,” the source said. “She feels very comfortable around him since they’ve known each other for such a long time and also feels a connection to him because his dad is from Barbados.”
According to People, the couple had been inseparable for weeks. A source told the outlet that “it’s a new relationship, but they both seem very into it.” A$AP’s lifestyle as a famous musician worked with Rihanna’s. “They’ve always seemed to have a great time together,” the source said. “They have a lot in common.”
Us Weekly reported that the “Goldie” rapper “has been very into Rihanna for years and was always the instigator in their flirtatious connection,” according to a source. The source also mentioned that Rihanna “would brush off his advances and kept him in the friend zone” until now.
“Things changed over the summer, and they finally hooked up. They’ve been together ever since,” Us’s source said.
The couple became more serious as the Grammy-nominated rapper flew to Barbados to join Rihanna and her family for the holidays. According to People, the pair spent Christmas together.
Entertainment Tonight was told by a source that “spending Christmas together was an obvious step” for their relationship. The source said being longtime friends makes it easier to “get along, travel together, and be involved in each other’s lives to the full extent. They always have such a good time together and definitely seem in love.”
On December 24, the low-key couple was photographed by paparazzi in Barbados. TMZ shared a photo of the pair hand-in-hand as they walked to the pier, seemingly confirming their relationship.
Later that month, paparazzi caught more affectionate moments between the new couple. Rihanna and A$AP were spotted sharing a kiss while enjoying their Catamaran cruise, according to TMZ. The outlet shared a video of the pair jet skiing and tubing alongside Rihanna’s friends.
On January 18, the couple and friends celebrated Yams Day, an annual celebration of A$AP Rocky’s late friend and business partner A$AP Yam, who died in 2015. E! reported details of the night as the couple arrived separately.
“Rihanna arrived with a group of friends and met A$AP Rocky there,” a source told the outlet. “They entered the restaurant through different doors and tried to be discreet. A$AP Rocky entered behind a bodyguard and ducked inside quickly. Once everyone arrived, they sat together with a group of friends.”
The source said that the group had dinner and shared stories throughout the evening: “There was lots of food passed around the table and laughter coming from inside. They stayed for over two hours before leaving separately.” Rihanna and A$AP left separately.
The couple made a rare sighting in Los Angeles on April 12. The paparazzi photographed the pair leaving dinner at Delilah in matching leather outfits. Rihanna wore a brown leather coat, and A$AP wore a black leather jacket paired with leather pants. It was confirmation that their romance remained very much on a year into the coronavirus pandemic.
In a GQ interview, Rocky opened up about his relationship with the Barbadian singer for the first time. In the interview, he referred to Rihanna as “the love of my life” and “my lady.”
The rapper did not share when the two began their relationship, but he did discuss what dating Rihanna is like versus playing the field. It’s “so much better when you got the One. She amounts to probably, like, a million of the other ones,” Rocky said. “I think when you know, you know. She’s the One.”
He also spoke about their trip together to Barbados during the holidays. “It was crazy. I always imagined what it would be like for my dad before he came to America. And I got to visit those places, and believe it or not, and there was something nostalgic about it. It was foreign but familiar,” he said.
On June 23, the couple was photographed sharing a kiss at Barcade in New York City, a rare PDA moment for them. Rihanna wore a sheer pink high-leg slit dress with a furry hot pink hat. Rocky wore a leather jacket, maroon tank, and leather pants. Later that night, the paparazzi captured the couple leaving the venue as Rihanna wore Rocky’s leather coat with his arms around her.
A few days later, TMZ posted a video of the couple depicting one of Rocky’s grand gestures for his lady. TMZ posted Rocky sweeping Rihanna off her feet as he carried her through New York City’s Lower East Side. According to the outlet, the couple spent the night and early morning partying together.
Rihanna and A$AP went for a date night in Miami at the World Famous House of Mac, where they took photos with the restaurant’s owner, Derrick Turton, who is also Pitbull’s former manager.
They cuddled up for photos, obtained by The Daily Mail, in which A$AP wrapped his arm around Rihanna’s shoulder. She put both arms in a hug around his waist. It looked like a very happy night out.
In August, the couple enjoyed a date night in NYC, which eventually led to the night club Pergola, where they were photographed leaving at 5 A.M. Rihanna wore a Harley Davidson handkerchief top with very ripped jeans and sandal heels.
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky walked the red carpet of the Met Gala together, an event where the singer would typically make a splash on her own. The theme for the 2021 Met Gala was American Fashion. Rihanna wore a dramatic black ruffle dress from Balenciaga with a beanie and over 267 carats worth Bulgari diamonds. Rocky arrived wearing a patchwork, blanket-like ensemble that looked very cozy.
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky revealed they’re expecting their first child together. The two appeared out in New York City, Rihanna showing off her pregnant stomach to paparazzi at the end of the month.
Rihanna showed off some of her famously sexy and flattering maternity wear at the photocall for her Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin party held at Goya Studios in Los Angeles. Rocky was by her side, and the couple smiled and embraced one another for the cameras on the red carpet.
Rihanna wore a shredded green halter top with a backless design, over a pair of pants of the same material in a silver-to-purple ombré pattern. Rihanna’s jewelry for the night included amethyst drop earrings, a silver bracelet with violet stones, and a series of Messika rings, including their Wild Moon ring, the Bague Diamond Catcher, and the Messika Bague Exotic Charm ring.
For her makeup, the singer and beauty mogul wore a bright red lip, shimmering gold eyeshadow, and her long hair down and parted to the side.
A$AP Rocky wore Louis Vuitton, a letterman jacket with a matching shirt, a purple Yankees hat to match his girlfriend, and a pair of shredded denim jeans with green sneakers.
The event came with an announcement that Savage x Fenty would be launching retail stores with flagships in Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, and Virginia, according to Forbes, and planned to open ten stores.
Engagement rumors circulated when the pregnant singer was photographed out wearing a stunning diamond ring on her left ring finger.
When photographed with the ring, Rihanna was out shopping for baby clothes in Los Angeles’ Kitson, in a vintage Grave Digger monster truck T-shirt with jeans, a statement hat that read “Sex is safer than smoking,” and a Gucci Balenciaga purse.
A couple days later, paparazzi asked Rihanna about the ring she was wearing and she laughed and teased, via The Daily Mail, “This old ring?”
This was a tough month for the couple after Rocky was arrested for a connection to a shooting in Hollywood in November 2021. He was taken in by the Los Angeles Police Department on April 20. The arrest came shortly after the couple landed back in California after visiting family in Barbados. He posted his $550,000 bail and was released just hours later.
After the arrest, Rihanna allegedly canceled her baby shower, and a source told Us Weekly that she “hasn’t spoken much about [the arrest]. She’s truly focused on her pregnancy and not trying to get too stressed.”
The insider added, “She is very confident about everything and has told friends she just hopes for a positive outcome.”
A$AP was accused of being involved with a shooting near Selma and Argyle Avenues following an argument. A man alleged that he was approached by the rapper at around 10:15 P.M. on November 6 and that A$AP fired a handgun at him three or four times. The victim’s left hand was grazed by a bullet, and he sought medical treatment.
“Rihanna was there when Rocky was arrested and has been crying non-stop,” another source claimed to The Sun. “She’s heavily pregnant and these are very serious accusations, it’s a nightmare scenario for her…It was meant to be Rihanna’s baby shower in LA on Wednesday night, but they had to cancel.”
The source said, “Rihanna was very, very upset and stressed by Rocky’s arrest. It’s not the best time for her to be on such an emotional rollercoaster.”
That same month, gossip spread on Twitter that A$AP Rocky cheated on his pregnant girlfriend with shoe designer Amina Muaddi during May’s Paris Fashion Week, but TMZ got clarification from a source directly connected to Rocky and Rihanna on the rumor’s validity. It’s absolutely not true, the source said.
The source said, “100% false on both counts,” adding again that it’s “1 million percent not true. They’re fine.”
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky’s “very fly” baby arrived. Rihanna gave birth to a baby boy on May 13 in Los Angeles, TMZ reported. The baby’s name was not immediately shared.
A source close to the couple told People that the two were home in Los Angeles with him. “Rihanna is doing well. They are very excited to be parents. Rihanna is already a wonderful mom,” the source said.
It’s announced that Rihanna will be headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2023.
“Rihanna is excited for her Super Bowl performance,” the source told ET. “She is trying to stay on the healthier side and feel good and fit ahead of it.”
Rihanna herself told ET‘s Rachel Smith that she had a form of buyer’s regret after the halftime news was announced.
“I can’t believe I even said yes,” she explained. “It was one of those things that like, even when I announced it I was like, ‘I can’t take it back now. It’s final. I can’t believe… what did I just get myself into?’ Because the Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world. It’s an entertainer’s dream to be on the stage like that, but it’s nerve-racking. You wanna get it right. You know everybody’s watching. And they’re rooting for you, and I wanna get it right. It’s a challenge I was willing to accept. Being a new mom, nothing would have gotten me out of the house if it wasn’t a challenge like that.”
She added, “It was now or never. Yeah, for sure. For sure. You can get real comfortable at home as a mom.”
She then shared a little about what her daily mom experience has been like and her favorite part.
“Oh my god, the mornings, like, seeing his morning face!” Rihanna declared. “Seeing a baby with, like, little bags and waking up and they’re just, like, startled. They’re trying to figure out where they’re at. It’s the cutest, it’s my favorite part of the day.”
The Grammy-winning singer walked the red carpet with A$AP at the premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, their first time at a red carpet event since the birth of their son. Rihanna’s singles “Lift Me Up” and “Born Again” appeared on the soundtrack for Ryan Coogler’s Marvel sequel.
The premiere was held at the Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, where Rihanna wore a sparkly, strapless dress by designer Rick Owens and a pair of opera gloves and matching pointed-toe heels.
Rocky matched his girlfriend in tone with an oversized khaki jacket and matching pants with a black T-shirt underneath.
A source told Entertainment Tonight that Rihanna hopes to expand her family with A$AP Rocky someday.
They added she has “dreamed of being a mom,” and would “love nothing more” than to have more kids with the rapper.
“Rihanna and A$AP are so in love and have the best time together,” the source added. “They are also a great team when it comes to being parents to their baby boy. Rihanna always dreamed of being a mom and she takes a lot of pride in it. She would love to have more children with A$AP in the future.”
Rihanna shared her baby’s face for the first time with a debut TikTok video.
In the adorable video, the baby is strapped in his car seat and smiling and gurgling as Rihanna speaks to him off-camera. She asks him, “You tryna get Mommy’s phone?”
He smiles in response.
Rihanna captioned the video, “Hacked.”
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, Rocky shared what it’s been like to be a dad and share a family with Rihanna.
“Oh, man,” he said when first asked about Rihanna’s upcoming halftime show. “I’m just as excited as you guys, if not more. Yeah, I’m super excited. This is as huge. This is incredible. I’m so glad that my lady’s back making music again and whatnot, and getting back out there. It’s just incredible. Especially for both of us, it is a good year for both of us to be more active and be out there. But the Super Bowl is huge, and her being the creative she is she going to bring it, man. I’m excited. I’m more excited than everybody else, honestly.”
He went. onto say about fatherhood, “It’s so unexplainable. It’s just one of those things. I’m a member of our club now, like the dad club. You see a dad, you see me. I’m playing on, I’m a full dad now. Being outside and working and being creative, it drives more energy for you…to think and soak things up like a sponge now that I’m a dad, because I have a whole ‘nother perspective. But it honestly helps you get home to your family and get home to your baby. And I can’t even explain it, man. You come home to heaven every day. I’m so thankful. God is good, man.”
That same month, the couple made a glamorous appearance at the Golden Globe awards, where Rihanna was nominated for Best Original Song, Motion Picture. Rihanna wore a gorgeous black gown by Schiaparelli couture and accessorized with Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and a Cartier diamond necklace and earrings.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.