Rihanna, real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is a Barbadian pop and rhythm-and-blues (R&B) singer who rose to international fame in the early twenty-first century. She is known for her distinctive and versatile voice as well as her fashionable appearance. She is also known for her beauty and fashion lines.
Rihanna grew up in Barbados with a Barbadian father and a Guyanese mother. She grew up listening to reggae and other Caribbean music, as well as American hip-hop and R&B. She excelled at singing and won a high-school talent show by performing a Mariah Carey song. She formed a girl group with two friends at the same time, and in 2004, she caught the attention of Evan Rogers, an American record producer. He assisted Fenty in recording a demo, which led to an audition with Jay-Z, the head of the Def Jam record label at the time, who quickly signed the young vocalist. Then, for her professional career, she adopted her middle name, Rihanna.
Since her debut in the music industry in 2005, she has consistently topped the charts and cemented her place as an industry leader. Beyond her music career, Rihanna has made significant progress for women in the fashion and beauty industries, being a pioneer for inclusivity and diversity. The Barbados-born beauty is regarded as a modern style icon and one of the most well-known multi-hyphenates around the world.
Take a look at some of Rihanna's most personal moments that have helped her become the influential figure she is today.
She was Miss Combermere
Rihanna won a school beauty pageant in 2004 while attending Combermere High School in Barbados. Miss Combermere was bestowed upon her after she performed Mariah Carey's "Hero."
She was not allowed to wear makeup during her teenage years
Rihanna once revealed that her mother didn't allow her to wear makeup as a child, despite the fact that she is now recognised as one of the queens of makeup. Her fascination with makeup began when she saw her mother working at a department store cosmetics counter.
She was a Cadet in the Army
Rihanna's fandom is known as the Navy, but it's more than that. Rihanna served in the army as a cadet in a sub-military program while in high school. Shontelle, a fellow Barbadian singer-songwriter, was her drill sergeant.
She did not complete high school
She was invited to travel to the United States to record demo tapes after meeting American producer Evan Rogers in her home country as a teenager. She did not return to Barbados to finish her education after her career took off.
She had a religious background
Rihanna was raised in a religious family and has had many exorcisms. She described a situation in which a girl was crying and speaking in tongues while everyone else prayed for her life.
Jay Z signed her at the age of 16
Rihanna was invited to audition for Jay-Z after submitting her demo tapes to Def Jam Records. She was signed right away, despite the fact that she was just 16 years old. L.A. Reid was so taken with her that he insisted she stay in the building until she signed her contract.
Her first album charted no 10 on Billboard
Rihanna's first album, Music of the Sun, was released when she was just 17 years old. The album was certified gold with the lead single "Pon de Replay," and charted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200.
She personally never really rated "Pon de Replay"
When Rihanna first heard "Pon de Replay" in 2005, she thought it sounded like a nursery rhyme, despite the fact that it is now one of her biggest hits.
At 18, she hit no 1
The lead single from Rihanna's second album, "S.O.S.," was the singer's first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. When the song was released, she was 18 years old.
Neyo helped her with vocal training
Since Rihanna never received formal vocal instruction, singer-songwriter Ne-Yo assisted the 19-year-old star in the studio. She once said, "He'll tell me how to breathe and stuff,"
"And I'm like, 'What?' Like he'll call out these big fancy words: 'OK, I want you to do staccato.' And I'm like, 'OK, I don't know what that is.'"
She created The Believe Foundation
Rihanna founded The Believe Foundation, a charity that aids terminally ill children, in 2006. She also founded the Clara Lionel Foundation six years later to support global education and disaster relief. The annual Diamond Ball, hosted by Rihanna, has evolved into a star-studded charity event to support CLF.
She had her legs insured for $1 million
Gillette insured Rihanna's legs for $1 million after bestowing the title of Celebrity Legs of a Goddess on her. "I think I'm just normal," Rihanna said in response to the insurance.
National Rihanna Day
Rihanna has a strong bond with her native country. Former Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson declared February 22 to be Rihanna Day in 2008. Every year, the people of Barbados listen to her music to commemorate the occasion, and Rihanna periodically returns to sing. She is also the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Barbados and the official face of tourism.
She amassed 6 Guinness records
Rihanna holds six Guinness World Records, including becoming the first female artist to have five consecutive UK Number One singles (from 2007 to 2011), being the best-selling digital artist in the United States, and being the most-liked person on Facebook in 2014.
Before performing, she takes a shot
Rihanna's personal assistant often gives her a diluted shot in addition to her pre-show routines of steaming her throat, chewing lozenges, and doing vocal warm-ups.
She had her bus stocked with Jack Daniels and Cheetos
Rihanna's bus was stocked with coconut water, Corona, Jack Daniels, Grey Goose, gummy bears, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, and garlic stuffed green olives during her 2013 Diamonds Tour. She also asked for the temperature to be set to 73 degrees.
She has 25 Tattoos
Rihanna once admitted that tattoos are like an addiction to her. “I like hanging out in tattoo shops. I am so intrigued by tattoos. It’s an entire culture, and I study it. Sometimes I go with friends, or just by myself,” she said.
If music failed her, psychology was the backup plan
Rihanna would have remained in school and studied psychology if she hadn't been a pop star. She once said, "Thank God I'm doing what I'm doing," because she despises school.
She owns Fenty
Rihanna's lucrative cosmetics business, Fenty Beauty, was launched under LVMH in 2017. It's been lauded for its diversity, with 50 foundation shades to choose from.
As a result, she became the first woman of color to lead a fashion house at LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate. Later that year, Fenty launched her first collection.
She spoke at Harvard
Rihanna was named Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard University in 2017. She joked in addition to thinking about her life-long instinct to support others, "So I made it to Harvard. Never thought I'd be able to say that in my life,"
She has 9 Grammys in her gallery
Rihanna has won nine Grammys and been nominated for 24 in the last ten years. At the age of 19, she won her first Grammy Award for "Best Rap/Sung Performance" for "Umbrella" at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
She has been casted in 9 movies
Rihanna's acting debut was in the 2006 film - Bring It On: All or Nothing, and she has since starred in eight more movies. Most notably, she joined the all-female cast of 2018 box office hit Ocean's 8 as Nine Ball.
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