The R&B star released the record two days early on Wednesday night (27Jan16) when the tracklisting and song snippets were briefly posted on Jay Z's streaming music and video website Tidal, and it was an instant success.

Rihanna posted a celebratory message on in light of the great news, tweeting to her "navy" - a term she uses in reference to her fans: "1 MILLION in under 15 hrs!!!! NAVY R die!!!! Thank u to all my fans. (sic)"

Rihanna has experienced several hurdles with her eighth studio album. She had originally planned to release the record in November (15) but various delays pushed the date back.

Her father Ronald Fenty claimed the delay occurred because there was still a great deal of work to be done on the album, which is her first release since 2012's Unapologetic.

"Robyn is not happy with the new album," Ronald told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "She’s not comfortable with it. When she went over the songs she found all these little things she wanted to change and was worried about it. It’s a long process and isn’t easy.”

Meanwhile, Rihanna is currently preparing to perform 68 concerts in Europe and the U.S. as part of her Anti World Tour, which kicks off in February (16). She'll be taking rumoured boyfriend Travis Scott on the road with her as the opening act in America, and the singer will also be joined by The Weeknd and Big Sean for the European leg of the tour.