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Back in January, Rihanna tweeted, then almost immediately deleted, a bit of info that sparked a sensation of curiosity in the media for months. The tweet?

“Just wrapped my first American Vogue cover shoot with Annie Leibovitz… Rah! #SEXY.”

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Well, the cat isn’t just half way out of the bag anymore. Rihanna can no longer keep her role as the April 2011 cover star of Vogue undercover. Images of the soon-to-be-released issue have begun to surface. We’d say that serves to confirm and fully pull the cat out of the bag on this one. This is the first American Vogue cover for Barbados born Rihanna and this issue lends itself to the increasing newly-found diversity factor of the ‘zine.

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Though this year’s April issue of Vogue is rumored to be more focused on skin than style, the fashions of these photos do not fail. RiRi dons a flesh-toned, floral, Pre-fall 2011 Chanel dress with long, wavy, fiery red hair on the cover. Inside we’ll find her, back-arched, in an Herve Leger cutout swimsuit and Alexander Wang peep-toe booties. Other looks of the cover story show Rihanna frolicking along the beach in a sheer brown frock, and wearing a short, blue body suit. The accompanying article may be just as revealing as the garments pictured in the cover story, mentioning the possibility of RiRi hitting the big screen in the near future.

The much anticipated cover and spread, shot by the legendary Annie Leibovitz, are said to echo hints of the Little Mermaid’s style; which wouldn’t be a far stretch for Leibovitz, who also shot the Disney Dream Portrait Series. The series features our most adored celebs posing as everyone’s favorite Disney characters. We can’t deny that there is a seemingly beachy theme present here, or the fact that the “Loud” singer’s red locks do resemble those of Ariel… but we’re still not sure if the Little Mermaid was the inspiration behind the look and feel of the Leibovitz/Rihanna shoot.

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Clearly, Rihanna’s Vogue debut is already giving us much to talk about. We can’t wait to see and read it all for ourselves! Flip through for a sneak peek!

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Rihanna and Annie Leibovitz on the set of the April 2011 Vogue cover shoot.

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Rihanna, Vogue April 2011.

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Rihanna, Vogue April 2011.

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Rihanna, Vogue April 2011.

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Rihanna, Vogue April 2011.