19 November 2012 5:46 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Could this sound more exhausting? Rihanna -- the most infamous redhead since the legendary pirate Barbarossa -- is celebrating the release of her new album Unapologetic (out today) with a seven-day, seven-performance, seven-country tour called The 777 Tour. Crazier yet, she's inviting along fans, contest winners, and more than 150 journalists to fly around the world with her. And guess who got an invite? NewNowNext's intrepid reporter Shawn Hollenbach, whose day-to-day journey is chronicled here. He is sleep-deprived and armed with a cardboard cutout of RuPaul. That is some next-level Woodward and Bernstein commitment to journalistic integrity. As his trek winds up, let's recount some of his highlights.

Rihanna photographs well with a 2-D RuPaul.

Man, Rihanna is so... a glorious Barbie doll. Look at that nose. See you in the Mattel dream house.

Shawn finds a RuPaul connection in Rihanna's coterie.

Shawn meets Rihanna's stylist Mel Ottenberg and her costume designer Adam Selman, »

- virtel

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