Rihanna invited press and fans on a plane around the world. What happened?
“If you’ve noticed, it was such an utter, absolute disaster that it’s never been replicated. No label has tried to do this ever again,” Daw explained, suggesting that anyone who considers taking on a tour like this to read the articles about the 777 tour and do their research thoroughly.
For Dormer, the experience led to countless opportunities. “I came back to Australia, I was promoted on-air, was given a night show…and then I was cast in Big Brother here in Australia,” he said. “Part of getting it was the reputation of what I had done on this tour. I won the show, and last year, I did Big Brother on Canada. It opened up a lot of opportunity out of some stupid drunk decision I made, but I have a lot to thank for that tour.”
The majority of the journalists revealed that what the trip did bring was a bonding experience with media folks around the world, despite how painful it might have been. Zemler so eloquently put it in a recap for The Hollywood Reporter:
“You can read the reports, you can watch this documentary, but the experience of the 777 Tour isn’t exactly something easily conveyed. There truly was a sense of being taken hostage, of grappling with Stockholm Syndrome, of being involved in something akin to the Stanford Prison Experiment. But there was also an overwhelming sense of camaraderie and collective survival. It’s offered us a bragging point as our friends and colleagues fervently tell others that we were on the plane.”
In the end, it didn’t matter that the tour was a nightmare for the majority of people on the plane. Unapologetic became Rihanna’s first #1 album on the Billboard charts, her tour made consistent headlines, and the Barbados native hasn’t looked back since. Five years later, it did not make a dent in her career.
There’s no doubt Rih is running the world as we know it today, even well after the ill-fated trip. With a historical makeup brand, adored fashion line, and critically acclaimed music under her belt, the past five years have only clarified that Rihanna is not afraid to take risks.
“She never misses a beat,” Dormer said, praising the singer for her re-inventive spirit over the years. The 777 Tour might have been her first major falter, but it’s Rihanna—she’s turned that misstep into a saunter and is walking straight into uncharted territory time and time again, only to emerge unscathed as always.