Rihanna (pronounced /riːˈɑːnə/; born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988) is a Grammy-winning Barbadian singer and model. She is the second artist, and first female, from Barbados to have received a Grammy Award (the first being Jimmy Senya Haynes). Rihanna is currently signed to the Def Jam Recordings label.
Rihanna came to fame in 2005 with the release of her debut album Music of the Sun, which featured her breakthrough single “Pon de Replay”. Less than a year later, Rihanna released A Girl Like Me and gave her her first number one single, S.O.S.. In 2007, Rihanna released her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The album has yielded six hit singles including the number one hits “Umbrella”, “Don’t Stop the Music” and “Take A Bow”. Since the release of her debut album, Rihanna has amassed eleven top 40 hit singles in the U.S.
Rihanna was born in Saint Michael, Barbados, to Ronald Fenty of Barbados and Monica Fenty, who is of Guyanese descent. She has two younger brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty.
Rihanna went to Charles F. Broome Memorial School, a primary school in Barbados, and then on to the Combermere School, where she formed a musical trio with two of her classmates. In 2004, she won the Miss Combermere Beauty Pageant and performed in the Colours of Combermere School Show.
In 2003, at the age of 15, Rihanna received her big break when one of her friends introduced her to music producer Evan Rogers, who was vacationing in Barbados with his wife. Rogers, along with his partner, Carl Sturken, helped Rihanna record material in the U.S. which was sent to various recording companies. One copy of Rihanna‘s work was sent to Jay-Z, who eventually signed her to Def Jam Recordings.
Rihanna cites Brandy, Beyoncé Knowles, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Bob Marley, and her Caribbean background as major musical influences. Rihanna also stated in an interview that her friend and former Island Def Jam record label artist Fefe Dobson was someone whom she admired and looked up to, having a fellow artist writing, singing, and performing the music she truly loves
Music of the Sun
See also: Music of the Sun
Rihanna‘s debut album, Music of the Sun, was released on August 30, 2005, yielding two singles, the first being “Pon de Replay” which was released on August 22, 2005. This single became a huge success upon its release peaking at number 2 in the US on Billboard Hot 100 charts. It also became a global hit where it peaked within the top 10 across 15 countries as well as achieving top 20 chartings on 20 charts around the world. The single written by Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers was described by Rolling Stone magazine as a “poppy piece of dancehall reggae with slapping, syncopated beats recalling big-band jazz.” However, despite Pon de Replay’s commercial chart success, the album itself was rated 2.5 out of 5 stars by Rolling Stone Magazine and described as lacking the replay value, ingenuity and rhythm of the single with “generic vocal hiccups and frills” of US R&B inflecting upon her “caribbean charm”. Since its release, the album reached the top 10 in both US and Canadian charts, gaining gold certification from the RIAA from selling 500,000 units and subsequent platinum certifications for selling 2 million units in various other countries.
The second single “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want” was less successful than “Pon de Replay”, but it became a hit nonetheless by managing to achieve a top 40 charting in the USA reaching a high of number 36. In Australia, Ireland and New Zealand the single proved to be well-received reaching the top 10 in those countries. Overall the single became a top 40 hit on 11 charts around the globe. Despite the album not having huge promotion and only releasing two singles Music of the Sun managed to sell over 500,000 copies in the United States and 2 million worldwide.
When asked about the nature of the album by AskMen Magazine about the album itself, Rihanna noted that it was released quickly after she was discovered in her home as a means of portraying her image as a girl from a small area who had moved to a large country in line with her debut, and that her second album was released somewhat shortly thereafter to illustrate that in her time in the country she had grown up quickly enough to release another album.
A Girl like Me
See also: A Girl like Me (Rihanna album)
Rihanna second album, A Girl like Me, was released in April 2006; less than eight months after the release of her first album. The lead single, “SOS”, was used in an endorsement deal with Nike. The song became Rihanna‘s first number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; it also debuted at number one on the Hot Digital Songs chart. “SOS” peaked at number one in Australia and number two in the UK. The second single, entitled “Unfaithful”, was written by R&B singer Ne-Yo. The song became her third top ten hit in the U.S. and in the UK. The third single, “We Ride”, wasn’t as successful as her previous releases, failing to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, however, it became her fifth UK top 20 single, where it peaked at number 17 on that chart and peaked at number one on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. Rihanna‘s fourth single from the album, “Break It Off” featuring Sean Paul, had already climbed to number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on airplay. It was released as a digital download on February 19, 2007, which made the song jump from number fifty-two to number ten and then eventually peak at number nine. A Girl like Me’s sales were significantly stronger, selling over 1 million in the U.S and over 3.5 million worldwide.
In total, Rihanna has had 11 #1’s on the Billboard charts and has had major success on the Hot Dance Club Play chart with four number-ones (“Pon De Replay”, “SOS”, “Unfaithful”, and “We Ride”). When Rihanna received an endorsement deal from Clinique, she recorded a song written by Ne-Yo entitled “Just Be Happy” as part of the deal to promote their Happy fragrance. Rihanna also recorded a song called “Winning Women” with Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger for P&G’s female deodorant Secret.
During this time Rihanna also made her acting debut in a cameo role in Bring It On: All or Nothing, which was released on August 8, 2006.
Good Girl Gone Bad
See also: Good Girl Gone Bad
Rihanna went into the studio in early 2007 with Ne-Yo, Stargate, and Timbaland among others to record her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The album was released on June 5, 2007, features Jay-Z and Ne-Yo. Rihanna worked with Timbaland on three songs in the album. Justin Timberlake co-wrote and provides background vocals on “Rehab”.
The album so far has yielded five hit singles, including the world-wide number one hit “Umbrella”, featuring Jay-Z. In addition to reaching number one in various countries, “Umbrella” was the number one single in the UK for 10 consecutive weeks, making it the longest running UK number one single since Wet Wet Wet’s single “Love Is All Around”, back in 1994, and the longest running number one by a female artist since Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”, which also topped the chart for 10 weeks in 1992. By the end of the year, “Umbrella” was ranked second on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart in the United States; however, due to the song’s world-wide chart dominance it was named the most successful song in the world for 2007, getting 8,160,000 points on the United World Chart.
Her other singles, “Shut Up and Drive” and “Don’t Stop The Music” were able to mirror the success of “Umbrella”, with “Don’t Stop The Music” reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Rihanna‘s seventh top ten single and her fourth top five hit, while peaking at number one in various countries, including the United World Chart. The fourth single “Hate That I Love You”, featuring Ne-Yo, was able to peak at number seven in the U.S.
Starting September 12, 2007, Rihanna toured Canada and the United States in support of the album with several shows and then crossed to Europe. The tour was called called the Good Girl Gone Bad Tour, and it will be released on DVD in early 2008, featuring the show performed at the Manchester Evening News Arena on December 6 2007.
Rihanna premiered a new single, “Take a Bow”, on KIIS-FM’s On Air with Ryan Seacrest. The song will be backed by the re-issue of her third album, titled Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, which was released on June 17, 2008. It has so far peaked at number one on the Hot 100 and on the UK Music Charts. Good Girl Gone Bad will also include Rihanna‘s duet with Maroon 5, “If I Never See Your Face Again” and her newest US single, Disturbia.
Rihanna has teamed up with H&M and other celebrities like Timbaland and Good Charlotte for “Fashion against AIDS”. The collection is designed to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS. It was released at H&M in early February 2008. She went Glow In The Dark Tour with Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and N.E.R.D.
There are conflicting reports about her next album. MTV.com reported that Rihanna has now gone into the studio to start recording her fourth album, but on the Ryan Seacrest show Rihanna said “I am not in the studio yet, Not yet no, We’re not gonna have an album out this year, probably the top of next year in 2009.” In the near future, Rihanna is scheduled to work with Ryan Tedder who named her as ‘The Next Britney’.
Main article: Rihanna discography
* 2006: Rock tha Block Tour
* 2007: Good Girl Gone Bad Tour
* 2008: Glow in the Dark Tour (with Kanye West, N.E.R.D, and Lupe Fiasco)