Released: 7th January 2013.
Stay is a piano driven ballad which was released as the second worldwide single from Rihanna's hit album, Unapologetic.
After Diamonds, I thought Rihanna would take the usual uptempo route, but she proved me wrong. This time, she takes a heartfelt route with probably her most emotionally driven performance to date.
Stay is about a heartbroken relationship, and you can her the pain in her voice as she sings. "Funny you're the broken one but i'm the only one who needed saving" brings her raw emotion to the surface and is one of her strongest lyrics. With Stay, she also presents Mikky Ekko - a newcomer to the music industry, who's vocals feature on Stay. His vocals fit perfectly into the song's melody, and compliment Rihanna's well.
The song has a more mature tone and the theme of heartbreak is something that most people will associate with. The song is certainly Unapologetic's highlight and her most vocally confident and emotional song yet.
Stay must slay - simple
This is a wonderful Rihanna ballad; a song that is so good, nobody could ever get enough of it. Mikky Ekko is relatively unknown, but he impresses the listener on this, and his verses fit right in with Rihanna's. Stay ranks alongside Take A Bow as Rihanna's finest ballad, and its chart performance will hopefully reflect this. Her live performance at the Grammy's was nothing short of fantastic, and it will hopefully see Stay ascend to the top of the Billboard charts.
This song is just too damn good.
Since her debut in 2005, Rihanna's cranked out almost fifty singles - a stunning figure over such a short time in the industry. However, most of those releases, especially those that managed to race all the way to the top of the charts, have been club anthems with a handful of ballads trickled here and there, more of them ending up as misses than hits.
"Stay", the official second single from her seventh LP, is haunting, powerful, and features one of Rihanna's career-best vocal performances. There's genuine emotion packed behind this song and the pain, the longing, the unbridled desire is heard in every line. It's one of the rare vulnerable moments that the vixen ditches the catchy hook and Guetta-concocted production to display her nearly naked vocals and the end result is nothing short of fantastic. The addition of a male counterpart in Mikky Ekko fits the song so perfectly and adds even more emotional depth to the track.
Whether or not "Stay" becomes another massive hit for Rihanna, this song has done its job already by proving to fans and detractors alike that there lies behind all the glitz and glamour a truly talented woman. Rihanna makes true the adage that sometimes less is more as this song's appeal lies in its simplicity, honesty, and vulnerability.