Robyn Rihanna Fenty, a Barbadian singer and songwriter, was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados and raised in Bridgetown
Rihanna first entered the music industry at 15, by recording demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She formed a musical trio with two of her classmates and without a name or any material, the girl group managed to land an audition with Rogers who commented, "The minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn't exist". That same year, Rihanna was signed to Rogers' and Carl Sturken's production company. Then, in 2005, Rihanna auditioned for Def Jam in New York where Jay-Z and his team signed a deal with Rihanna of a six-album record deal with Def Jam. She waited in Jay Z's office till three in the morning to get lawyers to draft up a contract because he wanted to prevent her from signing with another label. Rihanna cancelled other meetings with record labels and relocated from Barbados to the United States to live with Rogers and his wife.
In photo: Rihanna (Others)
In 2005, Rihanna rose to fame with the release of her debut studio album Music of the Sun and its follow-up A Girl like Me in 2006, which charted on the top 10 of the US Billboard 200 and respectively produced the hit singles "Pon de Replay" and "SOS". Music of the Sun received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over 500,000 units. The album sold over two million copies worldwide.
A Girl like Me was released in April 2006. The album was a commercial success, charting in the top ten in thirteen countries. The album became her first to be certified platinum by the RIAA, after selling over 1,000,000 units. Its lead single, "SOS", was an international success, charting in the top five in eleven countries.
In photo: Rihanna at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in LA (Reuters)
Rihanna assumed creative control for her third studio album Good Girl Gone Bad (2007) and adopted a public image as a sex symbol while reinventing her music and image. Released in May 2007, the album charted at number two in Australia and the US and topped the charts in multiple countries. The album received the most positive critical reviews of her first three albums. Its successful lead single "Umbrella" became an international breakthrough in her career, as she won her first Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with Jay Z in 2008. Umbrella was Rihanna's first single to be named one of the best-selling singles worldwide, with sales of over 6.6 million copies.
On February 8, 2009, Rihanna's scheduled performance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards was cancelled. Reports surfaced that then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown had physically assaulted her. He was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. On March 5, 2009, Brown was charged with assault and making criminal threats. A leaked photograph from the police department obtained by TMZ.com revealed that Rihanna had sustained visible injuries. (Others)
In summer 2010, Rihanna collaborated with rapper Eminem on "Love the Way You Lie", which was a major worldwide success, reaching number one in over twenty countries. The song was Rihanna's seventh US number one of her career, making her the female artist with the fifth-most number ones in the chart's history. The song became the first of Rihanna's singles to sell over one million copies in the country.
Loud, Rihanna's fifth studio album, was released in November 2010. Rihanna set a record as the solo artist with the fastest accumulation of ten chart toppers. To promote the album, Rihanna embarked on her Loud Tour in June 2011, which became the most sold out shows for a female artist in the venue's history. The tour was the seventh highest grossing tour worldwide of 2011.
In photo: Rihanna performing on her Loud Tour
Rihanna's sixth album, Talk That Talk, was released in November 2011. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 with sales of 198,000 copies. The lead single, "We Found Love", topped charts in twenty-seven countries worldwide, peaking in the top ten in thirty countries and breaking many records worldwide. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for ten non-consecutive weeks, becoming Rihanna's longest-running number one single and the longest-running number one of 2011. The song was later named the 24th biggest hit of all time on the Billboard Hot 100. (Others)
After releasing four consecutive platinum studio albums, including the Grammy Award winner Unapologetic (2012), Rihanna was recognised as a pop icon. In February 2012, she won her third Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and was voted the Best International Female Solo Artist at the 2012 BRIT Awards for the second consecutive year. March 2012 saw the simultaneous release of collaborations between Rihanna and Chris Brown. The recordings received mainly negative responses due to the pair's history of domestic violence.
Rihanna's seventh studio album, Unapologetic, was released in November 2012. In the US, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 marking Rihanna's first number one album in the country. The lead single from the album, "Diamonds", reached number one in more than twenty countries worldwide, including on the US Billboard Hot 100, her twelfth number one on the chart. As promotion prior to the album's release, Rihanna embarked on the 777 Tour, a mini tour of seven shows in seven countries in seven days. Rihanna's fifth headlining concert tour, the Diamonds World Tour, began in March 2013 in support of Unapologetic.
Her eighth studio album Anti (2016) and its lead single "Work" reached number-one on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100. (Others)
Rihanna has named Madonna as her idol and biggest influence. She said that she wanted to be the "black Madonna" and praised the singer for being able to constantly reinvent herself successfully throughout her career. Another major influence on Rihanna's music and career has been Mariah Carey. She grew up watching videos of reggae legend Bob Marley on television. She stated, "He's one of my favourite artists of all time – he really paved the way for every other artist out of the Caribbean". Other musical influences include: Houston, Janet Jackson, late singer Aaliyah and Beyonce.
Rihanna takes influence from the different types of music she discovered when she came to America and revealed that rock music was one of the first genres she fell in love with. In her early career, her music contained strong influences of Caribbean music, including reggae and dancehall. (Others)
Known for reinventing her style and image, Rihanna's music and fashion sense are noted by the media. In 2009, New York magazine described Rihanna's early look as that of a cookie-cutter teen queen, noting she has the ability to shift looks dramatically and with great ease. She has also been described as one of the sexiest woman of her generation, to which she revealed that being a sex symbol is not a priority and that "it's definitely flattering, but also uncomfortable."
In 2009, Glamour ranked her at number 17 on the 50 Most Glamorous Women and Esquire named her the Sexiest Woman Alive of 2011. In December 2012, Rihanna became the first woman to be featured on the cover of GQ magazine's "Men of the Year" issue and ranked fifth on Complex list of "100 Hottest Female Singers of All Time". The following year, VH1 placed her second on their list of "100 Sexiest Artists". (Others)
Rihanna has till date received 8 Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 12 American Music Awards, 8 People's Choice Awards, and many more. She received the "Icon Award" at the 2013 American Music Awards and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. She has sold over 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. On July 1, 2015 the RIAA announced that Rihanna had surpassed more than 100 million Gold & Platinum song certifications. In doing so Rihanna has the most digital single awards and is the first and only artist to surpass RIAA’s 100 million cumulative singles award threshold. In the UK, she has sold over 7 million albums making her 3rd best selling female this century. (Others)
Rihanna has also been actively involved in philanthropic deeds. In 2006, she created her Believe Foundation to help terminally ill children. In 2007, Rihanna was named as one of the Cartier Love Charity Bracelet Ambassadors, with each celebrity representing a different global charity. To help raise awareness and combat HIV/AIDS, Rihanna and other public figures designed clothing for the February 2008 H&M Fashion Against AIDS line. In 2008, Rihanna performed a series of charity concerts entitled to benefit the Believe Foundation. In September 2008, Rihanna contributed to the song "Just Stand Up!" with fifteen other female artists, who shared the stage to perform the song live during the "Stand Up to Cancer" television special. She also founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012, in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Current programs include the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, and education programs. The CLF host an annual Diamond Ball—charity fundraiser event. In November 2012, Rihanna gave $100,000 to food bank donation for Hurricane Sandy. She was part of the MAC Viva Glam campaign, which benefits women, men, and children living with HIV/AIDS. (Others)