"I want to give people a taste of the Caribbean, and show them the fun side of me." - Rihanna was quoted saying this, after the release of her album Music of the Sun.
Rihanna has rocked the entertainment world with her contributions to pop music, and is often described as a traditional dancehall singer. Rihanna was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados. Her father Ronald Fenty, is of African-Irish origin, and her mother Monica Fenty, is of Guyanese ancestry. Her birth name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Rihanna has two younger brothers Rorrey and Rajad Fenty. She also has two half-sisters and a half-brother from her father's previous relationships with several women. Her father's addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine badly affected her life. Later when she turned fourteen, her parents had divorced. Rihanna was a talented child, who later in life, went on to win a beauty and talent contest.
In her early teens, Rihanna got involved in music and formed a girls' music group with two of her friends. She was greatly inspired by reggae singer Bob Marley and pop diva Madonna. She was lucky enough to get her first break at the age of 15, when her friend introduced her to a veteran music composer Evan Rogers from New York, who was vacationing with his wife in Barbados.
Rihanna moved to US to start a career in music, and recorded under the guidance of Rogers, and his partner Carl Sturken. Later, Shane Carter, better known as Jay-Z, recognized her talent and had her sign a contract with Def Jam Recordings.
Career in Music
Rihanna has been musically influenced by famous artists, such as Beyonce Knowles, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, and Bob Marley. In 2005, Rihanna released her debut album 'Music of the Sun', which included the single hit 'Pon de Replay'. This single broke all records and peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, as well as the UK charts. The album sold over 500,000 copies in the US, and more than two million copies, worldwide.
Her second single 'If It's Lovin' That You Want', was not as successful as the first, and was at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and No. 11 on the UK charts. She released her second album, 'A Girl like Me' in 2006, which included the hit song and lead single S.O.S. (Rescue Me). This single peaked at the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100.
In the year 2006, Rihanna also tried her luck in films, and made her acting debut playing a cameo role in 'Bring It On: All or Nothing'. She has also endorsed many companies, including Nike and J.C. Penney.
Rihanna released her third album 'Good Girl Gone Bad' in 2007, featuring artists like Jay-Z and Ne-Yo. She worked with Justin Timberlake, who co-wrote the lyrics and compiled background music for three songs in the album. The album had hit tracks like 'Umbrella', 'Hate That I Love You', and 'Don't Stop The Music', among others. The album was certified 3 times platinum by United World Albums Chart. She is also a talented songwriter, and has penned lyrics for many of her own albums.
In 2008, Rihanna won her first Grammy Award, in the category - Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, for her hit single 'Umbrella'. She has also been nominated in different categories, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year, for her hit album 'Umbrella'; Best R&B Song for the single 'Hate That I Love You', and many more. At the American Music Awards in 2008, Rihanna was nominated for, and won awards in the Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist categories.
At the 2009 Grammy Awards, she was nominated for three awards; Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for 'If I Never See Your Face Again', Best Dance Recording for 'Disturbia', and Best Long Form Music Video for 'Good Girl Gone Bad Live'. So far, Rihanna has won 45 awards in various categories.
In 2010, Rihanna collaborated with Jay Z and Kanye West for the song 'Run This Town' and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap song. In 2011, she collaborated with famous Eminem for the single hit album "Love the Way You Lie". The song was nominated for six Billboard Music Awards and three Grammy awards.
Rihanna released her single song 'All of the Lights' in 2011 with Kanye West and went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. In 2013, she collaborated with Jay- Z for the song 'Talk That Talk' and was nominated for Grammy. She won the Best Short Form Music Video Grammy Award for 'We Found Love' in the year 2013.
In 2014, she won the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album for the hit album 'Unapologetic' and was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for the song 'Stay'. Rihanna won the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the 'The Monster' and shared with Eminem in the year 2015.
Rihanna was to perform live at the 2009 Grammy awards, but canceled at the last moment due to personal reasons. She also faced physical abuse from her former boyfriend Chris Brown, which was the major reason for her absence at the 2009 Grammys. She has also dated baseball star Matt Kemp and Canadian rapper Drake.
Rihanna has been actively participating in many charitable works. In 2006, she started 'Believe Foundation' to provide aid to terminally-ill children. She also raises huge funds for charities and foundations, by performing at a number of concerts. Rihanna, along with other artists like Timberland and Good Charlotte, have joined hands to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Rihanna was also chosen as a spokesmodel for Gucci's first UNICEF advertising campaign, wherein a portion of profits were utilized as a charity for children's benefit. Rihanna is also the cultural ambassador of Barbados.