Nuno Bettencourt dismisses rumours of Rihanna wanting a metal album: “It’s so incorrect”

“I promise you on the life of my children that those words never came out of my mouth.”

Rihanna and Nuno Bettencourt

Image: Associated Press / Alamy

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Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt has dismissed a long-running rumour that Rihanna wanted to make a heavy metal album with his help.

The story began in 2009 when British tabloid The Daily Star reported that “closet rock chick” Rihanna was “desperate to go all heavy metal” until her record label “had a seizure” and stopped her from doing so.

As the singer’s live guitarist, Bettencourt was even quoted as saying: “When I spoke to Rihanna she was totally into transforming herself into a heavy rock chick. She was listening to Led Zeppelin and new acts like Paramore and said that was the direction she wanted to go, so I said yes.”

The guitarist has since denied the rumour in a new interview with Classic Rock, calling those words that supposedly came out of his mouth “complete lies”.

“That’s fabricated,” Bettencourt said. “It’s so incorrect. I promise you on the life of my children that those words never came out of my mouth. It’s a good story, which is why it got written I guess, but it’s absolutely not true.”

“What happened was that they got in touch with me because they said they wanted a guitar player, and wanted to rock out the show, and they had seen some of my stuff online,” he recalled. “I said, Why would you want me, there’s no guitar on a lot of the songs? And I was told, that they just wanted me to be me, and do it on ‘Umbrella’ and everything, with heavy chords and riffs.”

“I was like, Wow, that sounds fucking exciting for a guy like me who loves all genres of music. That’s probably how that story started. But she didn’t want to do a heavy metal record.”

Meanwhile, Extreme will release their new studio album, Six, on 9 June. Check out the latest single Rise below.

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