“That was a moment for me because I used to be in that position. I would see a
star and just beg for their autograph. And then for people to be asking me, I
felt honored.” Rihanna on being massed by her admirers
A Barbadian singer with musical influences from R&B, reggae, Pop, dancehall, and
soca, Rihanna first came to attention of music listeners with her debut album,
The Music of the Sun (2005) which spawned the award-wining single “Pon de
Replay.” The BET nominee for Best New Artist gained even more recognition in the
next year for her great work in the follow-up album, A Girl Like Me. Thanks to
such successful tracks as the No.1 hit “SOS” and the top ten hit “Unfaithful,”
the album was certified platinum by RIAA and becomes her biggest selling album
So far, Rihanna has picked up such awards as a MTV Video Music (Japan) Award, a
MuchMusic Video Award and two Teen Choice Awards. She also has received several
nominations, including two MTV Video Music nods. She branched out to acting by
having cameo role in film Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006).
Childhood and Family:
In a small town in the Caribbean island nation of Barbados named St. Michael,
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988. His father is Ronald Fenty, a
white Barbadian of Irish descent, and her mother is Monica Fenty, a black
Guyanese beauty of Bajan lineage. An oldest child, Rihanna has two younger
brothers, Rajad and Rorrey.
Growing up, Rihanna escorted a somewhat trouble-free, normal life on her island
home. She earned her primary education at Charles F. Broome Memorial School and
then went to the prestigious Combermere School, a kind of technical high school,
for her secondary education. She crowned the title of Miss Combermere in 2004
and sang Mariah Carey’s “Hero” at the Colours of Combermere School show.
Music of the Sun
A student of Combermere School, one of Barbados’ prominent grammar schools,
Rihanna entered a beauty and talent pageant at her school and ended up winning
the title of Miss Combermere after brilliantly performing Mariah Carey’s “Hero.”
There, she also formed a trio singing group with two of her classmates. Her big
break in the music scene came in 2003, when one of her close friends introduced
her to New York City record producer Evan Rogers, who at that time vacationing
with his Barbadian wife Jackie, in Barbados.
With the help of Rogers, and his cohort Carl Sturken, Rihanna made some demo
songs in the United States and sent them to various recording companies. Her
hard work paid off a year later when the impressed record executive Shawn
“Jay-Z” Carter signed Rihanna to his label, Def Jam Records.
Under the label, Rihanna made her debut as a recording artist with the release
of her debut album, Music of the Sun in August 2005, where she also served as a
co-writer. The relatively unknown singer scored a success with her lead single,
“Pon de Replay,” that became the top two on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and
the UK Singles Chart. The song also brought her a 2006 MTV Video Music (Japan)
for Best New Artist in A Video. It was followed by “If It’s Lovin’ That You
Want,” a second single that peaked at No. 20 in many countries. As for the
album, Music of the Sun reached the top ten in Canada, as well as in America,
and within the top forty in the United Kingdom, and has certified platinum in
some countries and received a Gold certification in the U.S. To further sponsor
the album, Rihanna went tour with Gwen Stefani.
With the success of her debut album, Rihanna was invited to appear on TV shows
such as “Live with Regis and Kelly” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Today,”
and performed at the 2005 Video Music Awards, MTV Awards and World Music Awards.
Still in 2005, she performed at the start of the NFL season, with Kanye West,
and at the 2005 US Lawn Tennis Open Championships. She continued gaining victory
the next year when she was handed two Teen Choices for Female Breakout Artist
and Choice R&B Artist and a MuchMusic Video for Best International Artist.
On April, less than eight months after the release of her debut album, Rihanna
launched her second record, A Girl Like Me, which debuted at No. 5 in the U.S
and No. 6 in England. Its first single, “SOS,” which was used for Rihanna’s
endorsement deal with Nike, became her first No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart.
Additionally, the song debuted at No. 1 on the Hot Digital Songs chart in which
it hailed as the second biggest first week digital single ever, and won her MTV
Video Music nominations for Best New Artist in A Video and Viewer’s Choice
Award. Internationally, “SOS” became No. 1 hit in Australia and reached No. 2 in
the U.K. Rihanna’s followed up singles are the top ten hit “Unfaithful” and “We
Ride.” A Girl Like Me received platinum certification from RIAA.
Already popular as a singer, Rihanna made her acting debut with a cameo role in
Bring It On: All or Nothing, which was released on August 8, 2006.
- Teen Choice: Female Breakout Artist, 2006
- Teen Choice: Choice R&B Artist, 2006
- MuchMusic Video: Best International Artist, 2006
- MTV Video Music (Japan): Best New Artist In A Video, “Pon De Replay,”