"My story was broadcast all over the world for people to see," she says. "They have followed every step of my recovery. "The positive thing that has come out of my situation is that people can learn from that. I want to give as much insight as I can to young women, because I feel like I represent a voice that really isn't heard. Now I can help speak for those women."
Named Glamour's 2009 Woman of the Year, Rihanna, 21, will be honored in a special ceremony at New York's Carnegie Hall on Nov. 9. In addition to opening up about her difficult year, the singer – and fashionista – will also appear in a pictorial spread, wearing clothing by Balmain, Gucci and Jason Wu.
As for the massive scrutiny following the February 2009 attack, Rihanna says, "I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears. That was the level of media chaos that happened the next day."
And, she says, the past nine months have been a source of growth and strength. "I am stronger, wiser and more aware. You don't realize how much your decisions affect people you don't even know, like fans."
The singer has already released the power ballad "Russian Roulette" off her fourth album, Rated R, due in stores Nov. 23. "I've put everything I've wanted to say for the past eight months into my music," she says. "[It's] super fearless – which is exactly how I feel right now. I am in a really good place."
PeopleTV Archive: Watch Rihanna’s Changing Look