Who Is Rihanna?
At the age of 16, pop diva Rihanna secured a record deal with Def Jam. In 2005, she released her debut album, Music of the Sun, which went on to sell more than two million copies worldwide. She continued to put out albums and a number of popular singles, such as “We Found Love,” “Unfaithful,” “Umbrella,” “Disturbia,” “Take a Bow,” and “Diamonds.” Global pop icon Rihanna has an unflinchingly edgy image and has received numerous industry honors, including Grammy and MTV awards.
musician Robyn In February 20, 1988, in St. Michael Parish on the Caribbean island of Barbados, Rihanna Fenty was born. She is the oldest of the three children born to Ronald Fenty, a warehouse manager, and accountant Monica Fenty. Her father’s battles with crack cocaine and alcohol addiction as well as her parent’s marital issues—they were divorced when she was 14—tainted Rihanna’s youth.
For numerous years during her childhood, Rihanna also suffered from debilitating headaches, which she tried to hide from her friends and classmates so they wouldn’t think she was strange. She recalled, “I never articulated how I felt. “I’ve never let it out. You wouldn’t realize I had a problem because I would attend class.”
Relocate to America
Rihanna started singing as a youngster to escape her domestic problems. She started a girl group with two of her friends, and when they were 15 years old, music producer Evan Rodgers, who was on the island with his Barbadian wife, invited them to an audition. Rogers was in awe of Rihanna’s ability and beauty at a young age, which was terrible for her two pals. He said that “the moment Rihanna walked into the room, it was if the other two girls didn’t exist.”
Rihanna left Barbados less than a year later, when she was just 16 years old, to live with Rogers and his wife in Connecticut and begin recording a demo album. I didn’t glance back when I left Barbados, Rihanna recounted. “Even if it meant traveling to America, I wanted to do what I had to do.”
Rogers secured Rihanna an interview with Def Jam Records’ newly appointed president, the famed musician Jay-Z, in January 2005. She remembered, “I was just shaking in the lobby.” But as soon as Rihanna began to sing, she regained her calm. When she was singing, she recalled, “I remember staring into everyone’s eyes in the room, and at that point, I was fearless.” But as soon as I stopped singing, I realized Jay-Z was seated just in front of me. The hip-hop legend immediately signed Rihanna to his record label after being as impressed by her powerful presence as Rogers had been two years previously.
“SOS,” “Unfaithful,” and “Pon de Replay”
Eight months later, in August 2005, she released her debut single, “Pon de Replay,” a club song with reggae influences that peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard singles list and established Rihanna as the next big pop sensation in the making. Later same month, she released her debut album, Music of the Sun, which included the hit “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want” and peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard albums chart. The following year, Rihanna released her second album, A Girl Like Me, which featured the two big successes “Unfaithful” and “SOS,” which became her first No. 1 single.
With the release of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, in 2007, Rihanna underwent a shift from a sweet teen pop princess to a superstar and sex icon. The album’s #1 lead song, “Umbrella,” starring Jay-Z, was the catalyst for this change. Jay-Z remarked of the song, “It shows incredible growth for her as an artist.” You can tell how far she’s come and how much depth there is in that song’s lyrics.
“Hate That I Love You,” “Disturbia,” and “Don’t Stop the Music”
The Billboard singles chart champion “Umbrella” brought Rihanna her first Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The songs “Shut Up and Drive” and “Don’t Stop the Music,” the latter of which included a sample of Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” were also included on the album, which peaked at No. 2 on the charts. The next year’s Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded gained additional hits with “Disturbia,” “Take a Bow,” and “Hate That I Love You.”
“S&M” and “Only Girl (In the World)”
With the hits “Hard” and “Rude Boy,” Rihanna continued her string of successful albums in 2009 with the release of Rated R. Her 2010 album Loud, which featured the singles “What’s My Name,” “Only Girl (In the World),” and “S&M,” was a commercial hit as well.
Rihanna has a long history of successful songs of her own, but she also worked with many other artists on a number of well-known songs from this era, such as Jay-“Run Z’s this Town,” Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” Maroon 5’s “If I Never See Your Face Again,” and Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.”
We Discovered Love
Talk That Talk, Rihanna’s sixth studio album, was released in 2011. The song “We Found Love,” featuring DJ Calvin Harris, was featured on the album and received the 2013 Grammy Award for best short-form music video.