Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, pop sensation affectionately known simply as “Rihanna” first appeared on the scene in 2005, with her summer smash “Pon de Replay.” She is a native Barbadian, born in the town of Saint Michael, Barbados, to a Barbadian father and a Guyanese mother.
Rihanna has always been an entertainer. In high school, this 5’9″ crooner won a beauty pageant and performed Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in a school talent show. In 2003, at the age of 15, Rihanna received her big music break when one of her friends introduced her to record producer Evan Rogers, who was vacationing in Barbados with his wife, who is also a native of Barbados. Rogers, along with his partner, Carl Sturken, helped Rihanna record material in the U.S., which was sent to various recording companies. A copy of Rihanna’s work was sent to Jay-Z, who eventually signed her to Def Jam Recordings.
Rihanna is the second artist, and first female from Barbados to receive a Grammy Award (the first Barbadian artist being Jimmy Senya Haynes). So far, she has four Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones as a lead artist, with her hits “SOS,” “Umbrella,” “Take a Bow,” and “Disturbia,” as well as a Hot 100 Number One hit for T.I.’s “Live Your Life,” on which she is featured. This places her at a tie with fellow Pop/R&B singer Beyoncé as the female solo artist with the most number ones this decade.
Fans absolutely love the sexiness, mystery, and charisma of Rihanna. Her nicknames include RiRi, Caribbean Queen, The Barbados Babe, the New Princess of Pop, and Thunder Thighs. Rihanna is currently dating R & B heartthrob Chris Brown.
Rihanna’s latest album, Good Girl Gone Bad (Reloaded), has three Billboard Hot 100 number one singles. In the span of Rihanna’s three year career, she has sold approximately 11 million albums worldwide.
Despite all of Rihanna’s music success, she still makes it a point to give back to charity. In 2006, Rihanna created her Believe Foundation to help terminally ill children. In addition, Rihanna has performed a number of concerts to raise funds for both charities and the Foundation. She is also a 2008 Cartier LOVECHARITY Bracelet Ambassador, performed at Madonna’s Raising Malawi fundraiser, and was lauded for her efforts to help a woman find a bone marrow donor.
In September 2008, Rihanna joined other female Pop, Rock, R&B & Country singers such as Carrie Underwood, Ciara, Beyoncé, Leona Lewis, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and Fergie for the anti-cancer campaign Stand Up to Cancer and its theme song, “Just Stand Up.”
Rihanna is truly an artist not to be underrated. A combination singer, model, fashion designer and ambassador, Rihanna is a great woman making a great impact on the world.