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Rihanna lit up the stage this weekend at Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend. Many people have come to expect to be disappointed by Rihanna’s live performances, comparing her voice to that of a cat that’s been stepped on, repeatedly. But, not me…not this time at least. I was actually very impressed by Rihanna’s desire to become a full-out entertainer.

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The first person that comes to mind with that description is Beyonce and it’s hard not to compare the two, or at least keep them out of the same blog post, but it’s clean Ri Ri’s no Beyonce, but one thing can be said–this bad gal is trying. And that my friends is better than no effort at all, which is what I’d expect from someone that reportedly needs a stint or two in rehab.

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This is the first time that I can honestly say that Rihanna’s well on her way to being an entertainer. Trust me, singing and dancing is not as easy as Beyonce makes it look. My coworkers and myself have tried the “Where Have You Been” on several occasions and after huffing and puffing for oxygen directly after butchering the seemingly simple dance moves, I said these words, “I respect Rihanna.” And you will too.

Check out her five best performances of Hackney Weekend below!

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