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NICKI, NOAH & AN OLD FRIEND

According to Def Jam EVP Promotion Nicki Farag's Instagram, she and EVP Rhythm Promo Noah Sheer had the pleasure of running into "old friend" Rihanna at this weekend's BET Awards—where Rihanna presented Mary J. Blige with a lifetime achievement award.

Sheer also posted the pic, and both execs used #NopeNotTelling, along with the "shhh" emoji, in their captions, because they're clearly masters of subtlety.

Industryites have been buzzing about the forthcoming follow-up to 2016's Anti for some time now, with many claiming it's at the finish line. Late last year, RiRi herself confirmed some rumors, posting that the set would arrive in 2019 to a fan's IG account. She's since released social media content of her working in the studio. On 3/12, Jennifer Rosales—RiRi’s close friend and project manager—re-posted her photo with this caption: "When tia @badgalriri gives you the first listen 😎. #newmusic"

The Roc Nation star, who appeared on Seth Meyers last week for a very entertaining bit of day-drinking, has spent the last few years focusing primarily on her Fenty Beauty line. She's also prepped the return of her Diamond Ball—a charity event benefiting The Clara Lionel Foundation, scheduled for this September.

We can't help but wonder. How far off is #R9 really?

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RIHANNA FOLLOWS PLATT TO SONY/ATV
Loyalty in action (9/17a)
TAYLOR SWIFT JOINS THE VOICE AS MEGA MENTOR
Tay knows how to pick her spots. (9/17a)
BEYONCÉ ROARS IN PRIME TIME
So does Bey. (9/16a)
AMAZON GOES HI-RES
Alexa, what does "16-bit/44.1kHz" mean? (9/17a)
MORE RAINMAKERS
The players who made it happen.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE LEAKS?
Even funnier in French.
RIHANNA'S ETA
And about $50m in funding.
THE BUNDLE BUNGLE
When will the rules change?
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