Rihanna has opened up about the fight that ended her romance with Chris Brown at the beginning of 2009 in her most candid interview to date.
The R&B superstar was beaten black and blue by Brown after she allegedly questioned him about text messages he was getting from an ex-girlfriend.
Brown was found guilty of assaulting his then-partner and is still serving community service for his actions.
Rihanna has spoken little about the incident or her break-up, but she opens her heart for a revealing new interview in the December (10) issue of Marie Claire magazine.
Stating she felt like "an empty vessel" for days following the fight, the Umbrella singer admits the violent run-in with her ex helped to make her a much better person.
She tells the publication, "I couldn't have been the woman I am, the friend, or the sister or the artist, or the role model I am today if I didn't go through what I went through.
"It's scary; you just lose touch of everything that you love and everything that you would normally do; how you would dress or how you would say something.
"I needed that wake-up call in my life. That was the only way I would have gotten out of that relationship."
And the heartache from the split didn't last long: "I remember waking up one day and I knew I was over it. I didn't feel lonely. I felt like I wanted to get up and be in the world - that was a great, great feeling.
"Once you're back on your feet... if you ever make it back on your feet, that's the ultimate achievement."
The 22-year-old star is now dating Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Matt Kemp, 26, and tells the magazine she's very much in love: "He's just easy and really kind."