Rihanna Songs Are Really Expensive

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Billboard Awards arrivals at the MGM in Las Vegas, NV.

Pictured: Rihanna

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How much does it cost to make a hit single? NPR decided to deep-dive into Rihanna's "Man Down" as a case study, and what they found was predictably eye-popping: When you add the costs of pulling together a songwriters' camp (which, in Rihanna's case, is about $200,000), and covering expenses for the songwriter, producer, vocal producer, mix recording, and promotion, a single song can easily cost over a million bucks. "The reason it costs so much is because I need everything to click at once," explains Ray Daniels, who manages the "Man Down" songwriters. "You want them to turn on the radio and hear Rihanna, turn on BET and see Rihanna, walk down the street and see a poster of Rihanna, look on Billboard, the iTunes chart, I want you to see Rihanna first. All of that costs." And no doubt, Usher appreciates Ri-Ri's expensive leftovers. [NPR]