Rihanna has ''always'' had ''tough skin''.

The 31-year-old singer refuses to let her critics get her down, and says she's managed to keep her haters at bay for many years because she's always been someone who is able to brush off anything negative that's said about her.

She said: ''I have to say, I've always had pretty tough skin - even as a little girl, which was completely due to my parents. They never sheltered me in any way. They would tease me, and I would tease them right back. By the time I got to school, I always had this feeling like the kids were stupid. Maybe that was god's way of preparing me for what my life was going to be like. I don't feel any way about people's comments.''

The 'Work' hitmaker understands the appeal of sitting in an anonymous chat room where many people say negative things about her, but says she's able to realise that those people wouldn't say those things to her face, so never lets it get her down.

She added: ''I remember being a kid and being like, 'Wow! I'm in a chat room. I can say whatever I want. They don't know how old I am. They don't know who I am, or where I am.' There's that idea of being a child behind a screen and having that feeling like you can say anything. That child is who I imagine behind a comment every time I see one. They would never say that to my face. They probably wouldn't even say hello.''

But despite the haters, Rihanna also has a legion of loyal fans known as The Navy, and says it's ''amazing'' to know there are so many people who support her work.

Speaking to Interview magazine, she said: ''It's an amazing feeling, because I started off as a kid, so I know my fans were kids, too. We're all growing up together. It's crazy to see where our paths are taking us, and how our journeys are evolving at the same time. I feel like they're completely responsible for who I am, and where I am at in my career. God got me to a place, and they supported me and got me to where I am now. I feel really indebted to them.''