Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados and raised in Bridgetown, during 2003 she recorded demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers and signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for its then-president, hip hop producer and rapper Jay Z. In 2005, Rihanna rose to fame with the release of her debut studio album Music of the Sun and its follow-up A Girl like Me (2006), which charted on the top 10 of the US Billboard 200 and respectively produced the singles “Pon de Replay” and “SOS”.
International pop star Rihanna released her first album in 2005 and is known for such No. 1 hits as “Umbrella,” “SOS,” “Take a Bow,” “Only Girl (In the World),” “We Found Love” and “Diamonds.”
Singer Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in St. Michael Parish on the Caribbean island of Barbados. She is the eldest of three children born to Monica Fenty, an accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor. Rihanna’s childhood was marred by her father’s struggles with addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine and her parents’ marital problems—they divorced when she was 14 years old.
Rihanna also struggled with crippling headaches for several years during her childhood, a condition she attempted to hide from her friends and classmates so that they would not think she was abnormal. “I never expressed how I felt,” she remembered. “I always kept it in. I would go to school … you would never know there was something wrong with me.”
In January 2005, Rogers landed Rihanna an audition for Def Jam Records and its newly minted president, the legendary rapper Jay-Z. “I was in the lobby just shaking,” she recalled. However, once Rihanna opened her voice to sing she regained her composure. “I remember staring into everybody’s eyes in the room while I was singing, and at that point, I was fearless,” she said. “But the minute I stopped singing, I was like, ‘Oh my God, Jay-Z is sitting right in front of me.'” The hip-hop icon was every bit as wowed by Rihanna’s commanding presence as Rogers had been two years earlier, and he signed her on the spot.
Only eight months later, in August 2005, she released her first single, “Pon de Replay,” a reggae-influenced club track that reached No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart and announced Rihanna as the next up-and-coming pop star. Her first album, Music of the Sun, released later that month, reached No. 10 on the Billboard albums chart and also featured the single “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want.” Rihanna released her second album, A Girl Like Me, the next year, spawning two major hits in “Unfaithful” and “SOS,” Rihanna’s first No. 1 single.
In 2007, Rihanna effected a transformation from cute teen pop princess to superstar and sex symbol with her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, fueled by its smash hit lead single “Umbrella,” featuring Jay-Z. “It shows such growth for her as an artist,” Jay-Z said about the track. “If you listen to the lyrics to that song, you know the depth and how far she’s come.”
“Umbrella” topped the Billboard singles chart and earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The album reached No. 2 on the charts and also featured the singles “Shut Up and Drive” and “Don’t Stop the Music,” with the latter featuring a sample of Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, released the following year, scored further hits in “Disturbia,” “Take a Bow” and “Hate That I Love You.”
She dated Chris Brown off and on, however the relationship ended after he assaulted her during a domestic dispute.