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Rihanna forks over 160Gs on Marilyn Monroe portrait

Ri pays tribute to Norma Jean

Rihanna has splashed out a cool $160,000 on a portrait of Marilyn Monroe created by British artist Claire Milner.

It took a while, but we may have found a celebrity whose obsession with Marilyn Monroe rivals even Lindsay Lohan's!

The Hollywood screen legend, born Norma Jean Baker, has experienced an afterlife career resurgence over the past year. My Week With Marilyn earned Michelle Williams an Oscar nod and NBC's new drama Smash touts a fictional Marilyn Broadway musical.

Now Rihanna is getting into the Marilyn craze by taking her "Thug Life"-tatted fingers and throwing down six-figures on a crystal-encrusted portrait of the Some Like It Hot hottie. Artist Claire Milner spent four months painstakingly affixing 65,000 crystals on the five-foot artwork after being commissioned by RiRi's "people."

"I tried to show the glitter of the public life and then the sadness in Marilyn's eyes," Milner said of the piece, which was designed to change color as it reflects the light in the room.

"A 100 percent Swarovski crystal portrait is very luxurious -- people stand and stare because it constantly changes color, sending rainbows round the room," she added.

Rihanna is living the thug life >>

Milner never actually spoke with Rihanna. All communication was completed through the singer's interior decorator -- but Ri was reportedly thrilled with the finished piece.

"Because of who Rihanna is, everything had to be done through her interior decorators. But they told me afterwards that she loved it," Milner recalled.

The Barbadian beauty spent a small fortune shipping the piece from Britain to her mansion in Beverly Hills, where it hangs alongside select pieces such as a gun chandelier. Rihanna's Los Angeles home also features a Bob Marley tribute painting in her red, yellow and green "Reggae Room."

The "We Found Love" singer recently paid tattoo homage to rapper Tupac. Rihanna hit headlines last week after she posted a snap with "Thug Life" emblazoned her knuckles.

The late West Coast gangster rapper had the same phrase inked across his midsection.

Photo credit: WENN.com
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