USMagazine, Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 11:15am (PST)
Rihanna has been called a lot of things since her meteoric rise to success, but the latest comparison may be a bit more unusual than most. The "Stay" singer's face is digitally stitched to match the visage of Princess Diana on the latest cover of the UK's Sunday Times Magazine, a decision that has understandably caused a buzz among fans and critics alike.
"Rihanna is in love with the camera, and the camera is in love with her," the publication's cover story begins. "Not since Diana rocketed from a shy kindergarten aide to a lean, mean fashion machine has there been such a ravishingly seductive flirtation with the world press."
In the controversial image, a black-and-white photo of the late princess' face is digitally matched with the Barbados beauty's smirking grin, complete with a jeweled crown balanced atop her head.
"Like Diana, Rihanna has worringly drifted into using photo ops to send messages of allure, defiance or revenge in a turbulent relationship with an errant partner," the writer, Camille Paglia, argues in her essay. (The Princess of Wales died in a tragic car accident on August 31, 1997, at the age of 36 after being persistently followed by the paparazzi).
For her part, the 25-year-old pop star, who is currently in London for London Fashion Week -- where she is debuting her first collection in partnership with UK high street brand River Island -- is flattered by the comparison, and shared a photo of the cover on her Twitter.
"Just so happens I came home drunk to this in a pile of papers outside my hotel room!" she wrote late Sunday evening. "My lil Bajan behind, never thought these many people would even know my name, now it's next to Princess Diana's on the front of a newspaper!"
"Life can be such a beautiful thing when you let it be #yourejealous," she concluded.