Rihanna (born Robyn, Rihanna Fenty 20.2.1988)
Rihanna is the first female from Barbados to have received a Grammy Award and is currently signed to the Def Jam Recordings record label. She was presented with an area of land in Appes Hill, St. James, Barbados, in a tribute to her work.
Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna is the daughter of Ronald Fenty (of African and Irish descent) and Monica Fenty, who has a Guyanese ancestry.
In Combermere Schoool, she formed a musical group with two of her classmates. In 2004, she was crowned Miss Combermere in a local beauty pageant, as well as performing in the 'Colours Of Combermere' school show.
She received her big break aged 15, when a friend introduced her to Evan Rogers, a music producer who was on vacation on the island. Rogers and his partner, Carl Sturken recorded Rihanna's material in the U.S. and sent it to various record companies. One of these copies reached Jay-Z, who eventually signed her to his Def Jam label.
Rihanna's Musical Career
Rihanna has named Beyonce, Brandy Norwood and her upbringing in the Caribbean as the major influences on her music.
Music Of the Sun was Rihanna's debut album, released in 2005. 'Pon de Replay' was one of the singles released from the album. The track was co-written by Rogers, Sturken and Rihanna and reached number two in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK singles chart.
The album itself received platinum certification for selling over 2 million units worldwide and Rihanna promoted the album by touring as Gwen Stefani's opening act.
The second single from the album, 'If It's Lovin' That You Want', was significantly less successful, reaching 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 11 in the UK charts. A third single, 'Let Me', was released in Japan only.
Less than eight months after the release of her debut album, Rihanna launched a second album, A Girl Like Me, in 2006. The album went into the U.S. charts at number five. And the main single from the track, 'SOS', was used in a Nike advertising campaign. 'SOS' became the first number one Billboard single for Rihanna.
Her third top 10 U.S. hit came with 'Unfaithful', written by the R&B singer Ne-Yo, though its follow-up, 'We Ride' was less successful, which failed to chart in the Billboard Hot 100. 'Break It Off', featuring Sean Paul, was her fourth single from the album. Digital download sales helped the song jump from 52 to number 9.
Good Girl Gone Bad, her third album, was recorded with Timbaland, Ne-Yo and Stargate and released in 2007. Jay-Z and Ne-Yo also feature on the album and Justin Timberlake co-wrote 'Rehab' and sang backing vocals for the track. The album went three times platinum on the United World Albums Chart.
The first single from the album, 'Umbrella', which featured Jay-Z, was a number one hit in a number of countries. In the UK, it was the longest running number one single since Wet Wet Wet's 'Love Is All Around' (1994) and the longest running number one by a female artist since Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' (1992). With 8,160,000 points on the United World Chart, it was the most successful song of 2007.
'Umbrella' was followed by the singles 'Shut Up And Drive', 'Don't Stop The Music' and 'Hate That I Love You'
Rihanna has received four Grammy nominations: record of the Year, Best Rap / Sung Collaboration, Best R&B performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals, Best Dance Recording. She also obtained two Grammys: Song of the Year and Best R&B song. Accolades attributed to Rihanna include: World's Best Selling Pop Female Artist and Entertainer of the Year at the World Music Awards, Favourite Female Artist - Soul / R&B at the American Music Awards, and best R&B song, for 'Shut Up and Drive' at the 2008 People's Choice Awards.