Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), known mononymously as Rihanna, is a Barbadian recording artist. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a recording career under the guidance of record producer Evan Rogers. She subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings.
In 2005, Rihanna released her debut studio album, Music of the Sun, which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart and features the Billboard Hot 100 top five hit single "Pon de Replay". In less than a year, she released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006), which peaked within the top-five in the United States, and produced her first Hot 100 number one single, "SOS". Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad released in May 2007, spawned the international hit singles "Umbrella", "Don't Stop the Music", "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia", with an additional four singles being released. The album was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella". Her fourth studio album Rated R (2009), produced the top-ten singles "Russian Roulette", "Hard" and "Rude Boy", with the latter achieving the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Loud (2010), Rihanna's fifth studio album, spawned the number-one hits "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?" and "S&M". "We Found Love" served as the lead single from Rihanna's sixth studio album, Talk That Talk (2011). The song was an international success, topping the charts in seventeen countries.
Rihanna's work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including five American Music Awards, 18 Billboard Music Awards, two BRIT Awards and six Grammy Awards. She has achieved a total of eleven number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the youngest solo artist to achieve the feat.Billboard named Rihanna the Digital Songs Artist of the 2000s decade, and ranked her as the seventeenth artist of the same decade. She is the highest-selling digital artist in U.S. history. Furthermore, she has also shipped 7.3 million album units in the U.S. as of September 2011. Some of her singles have earned their place on the list of best-selling singles worldwide. Rihanna has sold more than 180 million records worldwide since the beginning of her career in 2005, which makes her one of the best selling artists of all time.
1988-2004: Early life and careerEdit
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados to Monica Braithwaite, a retired accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor for a garment factory. Her mother, a native of Guyana, is Afro-Guyanese, and her father is of Barbadian and Irish descent. She also has two half-sisters and a half-brother from her father's side, each born by different mothers before Rihanna's father married her mother. Rihanna grew up listening to reggae music, and began singing at around the age of seven. Her childhood was deeply affected by her father's addiction to crack cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana, and her parents' turbulent marriage ended when she was 14. She grew up in a three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown and sold clothes with her father on a street stall. She attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and then the Combermere High School, where she formed a musical trio with two of her classmates. Rihanna was an army cadet in a sub-military programme that trained with the military of Barbados and fellow Barbadian and singer-songwriter Shontelle was her drill sergeant. Although she initially wanted to graduate from high school, she chose to pursue her musical career instead.===
Before signing to Def Jam Recordings, Rihanna was discovered in her home country by American record producer Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. The two met in December 2003 through mutual friends of Rihanna's and Rogers' wife, while the couple was on vacation in Barbados, because of how Rihanna's friend had told Rogers' wife how the aspiring singer was always singing and performing. After meeting for the first time, Rogers' asked Rihanna to come to his hotel room, where she performed renditions of Destiny's Child "Emotion" and Mariah Carey's "Hero". Rihanna's renditions impressed Rogers, who then took her to New York, where she was accompanied by her mother, Monica, to record some demo tapes which could be sent to record labels. Production of the demo tapes took about a year, due to Rihanna only being able to record during school holidays. At the age of 16, Rihanna was signed to Rogers' and Carl Sturken'ss production company, Syndicated Rhythm Productions, who assigned her a lawyer and manager, before the completed demo tape was distributed to various record labels around the world in late 2004. The first to respond to the demo tape was Jay-Z, who had recently been appointed as president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. Rihanna auditioned for him and music mogul L.A. Reid, in his office. Looking back on the audition and meeting Jay-Z, Rihanna explained in an interview how she felt before walking into the room, saying:
"That's when I really got nervous... I was like: 'Oh God, he's right there, I can't look, I can't look, I can't look!' I remember being extremely quiet. I was very shy. I was cold the entire time. I had butterflies. I'm sitting across from Jay-Z. Like, Jay-Zee. I was star-struck."
During the audition, Rihanna performed Whitney Houston's cover of "For the Love of You", as well as her first single "Pon de Replay" and "The Last Time", which were written and produced by Rogers and Sturken and would be included on her debut album Music of the Sun. Jay-Z was initially skeptical about signing Rihanna after he felt "Pon de Replay" was too big for her, saying "when a song is that big, it's hard [for a new artist] to come back from. I don't sign songs, I sign artists". The audition resulted in Rihanna signing a six-album record deal with Def Jam Recordings in February 2005, on the same day of the audition, with Jay-Z saying "There's only two ways out. Out the door after you sign this deal. Or through this window ...", meaning that he was not going to let her leave with signing a record deal. After signing to Def Jam Recordings, Rihanna cancelled other meetings with record labels and relocated from Barbados to New York to live with Rogers' and his wife. Rihanna explained the concept behind the title of the album to Kidzworld, saying that the sun is representative of the her native Caribbean culture as well as herself and that the album consists of music from her heritage.
2005–06: Music of the Sun and A Girl Like MeEdit
After signing with Def Jam, she spent the next three months recording and completing her debut album. The album featured production from Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken, Stargate and Poke & Tone. She first collaborated with rapper Memphis Bleek on his fourth studio album 534 before her debut. She released her debut single, "Pon de Replay" on August 22, 2005, which peaked at number two on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. It became a global hit, peaking within the top ten across fifteen countries. Her debut album, Music of the Sun, was released in August 2005 in the United States. The album reached number ten on the Billboard 200, selling 69,000 copies in its first week. The album went on to sell over two million copies worldwide and received a Gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over 500,000 units to retailers in the United States.
Her music was marketed within the reggae genre because of her Caribbean descent. The album received mixed reviews by music critics. Rolling Stone magazine gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars 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". Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine described the album as a "glut of teen R&B chanteuses " and described her lead single "Pon de Replay" as "a dancehall-pop mixture that owes plenty of its sweat and shimmy to Beyoncé's "Baby Boy". A reviewer for Entertainment Weekly commented that the "dancehall/R&B debut is filled with chintzy production and maudlin arrangements that block out the Music of the Sun. The albums second single, "If It's Lovin' that You Want" was less successful than its predecessor, managing a peak position of number thirty-six in the United States, and number eleven in the United Kingdom. The single proved to be more well-received in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand reaching the top ten.
A month after the release of her debut album, she began working on her second studio album. The album contained production from record producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken who produced most of her debut album, as well as Stargate, J. R. Rotem and label-mate singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. Whilst recording the album, Rihanna served as an opening act for Gwen Stefani on tour to promote her debut album. A Girl Like Me was released in April 2006, less than eight months after her debut. The album reached number five on the Billboard 200 selling 115,000 copies in its first week and was certified Platinum by the RIAA, having shipped over one million units. Internationally, the album peaked at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart and number five in the UK and Ireland. Critical response to the album was mixed; Rolling Stone magazine commented "Like her filler-packed debut album, this similar but superior follow-up doesn't deliver anything else as ingenious as its lead single." Critics described the album as a record that almost identically alternates between the sunny dancehall/dub-pop, hip-hop-infused club bangers and gushy, adult-oriented ballads.
The lead single, "SOS", peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first single to top the charts in the United States. The second single, "Unfaithful", became a major worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in eighteen countries around the world, including the US where it reached number six, as well as topping the charts in Canada and Switzerland. The album's third single "We Ride" did not achieve the same success, remaining uncharted in the US and reaching a peak of seventeen in the UK. However, the fourth US single, "Break It Off" featuring Sean Paul, reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. After the release of the album, Rihanna embarked on her first headlining tour, the Rihanna: Live in Concert Tour. She then embarked on the Rock Tha Block Tour followed by touring with the Pussycat Dolls from November 2006 to February 2007 in the UK. Rihanna made her acting debut in a cameo role in the straight-to-DVD film Bring It On: All or Nothing, which was released on August 8, 2006. Kelly Mberabahizi
2007–08: New image and Good Girl Gone BadEditWith her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), Rihanna wanted to head in a new direction with the help of music producers Timbaland, will.i.am and Sean Garrett, and re-imagine her album compositions with fresh, uptempo dance tracks. She adopted a more rebellious image whilst recording the album, eventually dying her hair black and cutting it short. Rihanna commented, "I want to keep people dancing but still be soulful at the same time [...] You feel different every album, and at this stage I feel like I want to do a lot of uptempo songs." The album topped the charts in multiple countries including the UK, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Russia and and at number two in the US and Australia. Unlike previous work, the album featured a more dance-pop sound instead of the dancehall, reggae and ballad styles found in Rihanna's first two albums. The album received positive reviews by critics, becoming her most critically acclaimed album at that time compared to her previous efforts.
Good Girl Gone Bad yielded four chart-topping singles – all reaching the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 – including the major worldwide number one hit, "Umbrella", featuring Jay-Z. In addition to reaching number one in twelve other countries, "Umbrella" peaked at number one in the UK for ten consecutive weeks, making it the longest-running number one single since Wet Wet Wet's single "Love Is All Around" spent fifteen weeks at the top in 1994. It became the longest-running chart topper of the 2000's decade, and remains the longest-running number one since its release in 2007. The song was listed at number three on the '100 Best Songs of 2007' published by Rolling Stone magazine. It became Rihanna's first single to be named one of the best-selling singles worldwide, having sold over 6.6 million singles since being released. Her other singles, "Shut Up and Drive", and "Hate That I Love You", "Don't Stop The Music" were released from the album and were able to mirror the success of "Umbrella", with the latter reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100, whilst peaking at number one in Australia, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Switzerland. At the 2007 American Music Awards, Rihanna won the award for 'Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist'.
The re-issue of her third album, titled Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, released in June 2008, features three added songs. The first single from the re-release, "Take a Bow", topped the charts in six countries worldwide, including in Canada, Ireland, the the UK and US. "If I Never See Your Face Again", a duet with Maroon 5, was also included in the re-release, alongside "Disturbia", which also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned Rihanna a nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. "Disturbia" and "Take a Bow" both silmiltaneously appeared inside the top five on the Hot 100, making Rihanna the seventh female artist to have two songs in the top five. She was also featured on rapper T.I.'s "Live Your Life," which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Rihanna her fifth number one single on the chart at the time, and making Rihanna the artist with the joint-most number one singles of the 2000's decade, with the other being Beyoncé Knowles. A remix of the album, Good Girl Gone Bad: The Remixes, was also released containing remixed versions of songs from the reloaded edition of the album. "Good Girl Gone Bad" has shipped over 2.7 million units in the United States alone, receiving a two-times-platinum certification from the RIAA and marking Rihanna's best-selling album to date in the country. Rihanna was nominated in four categories at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, winning 'Monster Single of the Year' and 'Video of the Year' for "Umbrella". Rihanna won her first award at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, in addition to receiving five other nominations, including Record of the Year, Best Dance Recording, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group and Best R&B Song. In support of the album, she kicked off her second headlining tour, the Good Girl Gone Bad Tour on September 12, 2007, with a total of 80 shows across the US, Canada and Europe and then embarked on the Glow in the Dark Tour with Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and N.E.R.D on April 16, 2008. Rihanna won the awards for 'Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist' and 'Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist' at the 2008 American Music Awards.
2009–11: Domestic violence case, Rated R, and LoudEditOn February 8, 2009, Rihanna's scheduled performance at the 51st Grammy Awards was canceled. Reports later surfaced regarding an alleged altercation with then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, who was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. On March 5, 2009, Brown was charged with assault and making criminal threats. Due to a leaked photograph from the Los Angeles Police Department obtained by TMZ.com—which revealed Rihanna had sustained visible injuries — an organization known as STOParazzi proposed a law called "Rihanna's Law," which, if enacted, would "deter employees of law enforcement agencies from releasing photos or information that exploits crime victims." Gil Kaufman of VH1 reported the "nonstop coverage of the Rihanna/Brown case has brought up a number of issues regarding the privacy of alleged victims of domestic violence, including the decision by almost all major news outlets to divulge the identity of the victim—which is not typically done in domestic-violence cases" and the controversial distribution of the leaked photograph. Rihanna was subpoenaed to testify during a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles on June 22, 2009. Rihanna's attorney, Donald Etra told US Weekly, "The DA told me Rihanna will be subpoenaed. I will accept on her behalf." On June 22, 2009, Brown pled guilty to the felony assault. In exchange for his plea Brown received five years probation and was ordered to stay fifty yards away from Rihanna, unless at public events, which then would be reduced to ten yards. However, in February 2011, at the request of Brown's lawyer, Judge Patricia Schnegg modified with Rihanna's consent the restraining order to a "level one order," allowing both singers to appear at awards shows together in the future. The following year, a police statement outlining what Rihanna said happened during the events, was leaked online. Statements in the documents were made by the responding LAPD officer.
Rihanna made her first appearance in a music video since the assualt, as the central character in Kanye West's clip, "Paranoid". She also collaborated with Jay-Z and West on "Run This Town" which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, number one in the UK, and reached the top ten in ten other countries. The song won 'Best Rap Song' and 'Best Rap/Sung Collaboration', at the 52nd Grammy Awards. Her fourth studio album, Rated R was released in November 2009, and was described as having a very dark and mature atmosphere due to previous events. Rolling Stone was favorable of the album commenting that "Rihanna has transformed her sound and made one of the best pop records of the year". The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipment of over one million copies. Debut single, "Russian Roulette", received commercial success, reaching number one in Norway and Switzerland. It also reached the top ten in sixteen other countries including in the UK at number two, and number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100. The second single, "Hard" was released predominantly in the United States only. However, besides from reaching the top ten in the country at number nine, it also charted in other countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. "Rude Boy", the third global single, became the biggest worldwide success from the album, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, as well as claiming top ten positions in twenty-two other countries. Two other singles were released from Rated R, U.S. and Australian only single, "Rockstar 101" and the final European single, "Te Amo". "Rated R: Remixed" was released in the spring of 2010 and featured ten tracks from the album revamped as remixes by Chew Fu. To further promote the album, she embarked on her second worldwide tour, the Last Girl on Earth Tour, performing 67 shows.
In January 2010, Rihanna won two Barbados Music Awards for 'Song of the Decade' with "Umbrella" and 'Entertainer of the Decade'. She was also named 'International Female Artist of the Year' at the 2010 NRJ Music Awards. During the summer, she collaborated with rapper Eminem on "Love the Way You Lie", which was a major worldwide success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as in twenty other countries worldwide. "Love the Way You Lie" became Rihanna's seventh Hot 100 number one of her career, making her the female artist with the fifth-most number ones in the chart's history. Despite reaching number two, the song became the biggest-selling song of 2010 in the UK, and the first of three Rihanna singles to sell over one million copies in the country. It also remains Rihanna's highest-certified and best-selling single in the US, and best-selling single worldwide. With sales of over nine million to date, it is one of the best-selling singles worldwide; and Rihanna's biggest-selling single worldwide. Later that year, Rihanna recorded a sequal to the track entitled, "Love the Way You Lie Part II" for her fifth studio album, from her perspective, featuring Eminem once more. It received positive reviews from critics and managed to reach the top twenty of the Canadian Hot 100 after the album's release. It remained on the chart for eight weeks. She also lent her vocals to the hook of "All of the Lights", the fourth single from Kanye West's fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which features additional vocals from several other recording artists, including John Legend, The-Dream, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, and Elton John. In October 2010, she released a self-titled book, and announced that she was parting ways with manager Marc Jordan and would henceforth be managed by Jay-Z's Roc Nation Management. She also stated that she plans to start her own company entitled, "Rihanna Entertainment", in which she will "merge all of her businesses including music, film, fragrance, fashion and book ventures".Rihanna released her fifth studio album, Loud on November 16, 2010. It debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 207,000 copies in its first week, making it the biggest opening week sales of her career to date. Its lead single, "Only Girl (In the World)", reached number one in fourteen countries including Australia, Canada, the UK and US. The song also won the award for 'Best Dance Recording' at the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011. The album's second single, "What's My Name?", featuring Canadian rapper Drake, also reached number one in both the US and UK, making Rihanna the first female solo artist to have five number one singles in the United Kingdom in consecutive years. The song reached number one on the Hot 100 before "Only Girl (In the World)", making it the first time in he chart's history that an album's debut single reached number one after the second. With her third international single from the album, '"S&M" featuring Britney Spears, the singer earned another milestone when the track reached number one on the Hot 100, becoming the youngest artist in the chart's 52-year history to achieve ten number one singles. "Man Down", served as the fourth US single and in other territories worldwide. It reached number one in France, as well as peaking within the top ten in eight other countries. "California King Bed" and the final single, "Cheers (Drink to That)" were last to be released from the album with the latter reaching number seven on the Hot 100.
In June 2011, Rihanna embarked on her worldwide concert tour, the Loud Tour, to promote the album. It spanned 98 dates, becoming Rihanna's longest ever tour. Additionally, Rihanna broke the record for selling out ten nights at the The O2 Arena in London, the most sold out shows for a female artist ever, breaking the previous eight-night record held by Britney Spears. In October 2011, Rihanna appeared in the Judges' Houses round of the American reality TV program, The X Factor, assisting L.A. Reid as a guest mentor. During that month, Nicki Minaj released the collaboration "Fly" featuring Rihanna from her album "Pink Friday" which peaked within the top twenty in both the US and UK.
2011–present: Talk That Talk and UnapologeticEdit
Rihanna's sixth album, Talk That Talk, was released on November 21, 2011 in both deluxe and standard editions. The lead single "We Found Love" premiered on September 22, 2011 and was released the same day for digital download in the US. With the ascension of the track to number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, Rihanna became the fastest solo artist in the chart's history to achieve twenty Hot 100 top ten singles, breaking the previous record set by Madonna. The song later became Rihanna's eleventh number one single on the chart. With this, Rihanna became only the seventh artist in the 53-year history of the chart to amass at least eleven number one singles, behind The Beatles (20), Mariah Carey (18), Michael Jackson (13), Madonna (12), The Supremes (12) and tying with Whitney Houston, who also achieved eleven number one singles. Additionally, Rihanna moved into third place, tied with Houston, for the female artist with the most number one singles, behind Carey and Madonna. "We Found Love" ultimately spent ten non consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, surpassing "Umbrella" as Rihanna's longest number one single, and was 2011's longest-running number one in the country. In the UK, the single became Rihanna's second solo single (third overall) to sell over one million copies in the country alone, after "Love The Way You Lie" and "Only Girl (In The World)" (2010). "We Found Love" was a superior global sensation, topping charts in eighteen countries worldwide and peaking in the top ten of charts in thirty countries, breaking a string of records worldwide. It became Rihanna's highest-charting single on the Japan Hot 100 and her best-selling single in New Zealand. The song was covered by many popular artists including the Glee Cast and both Coldplay and Jessie J, in the Radio 1 Live Lounge. "You Da One" was released as the second single from the album on November 11, 2011; and was a moderate success reaching the top twenty in both the UK and US. It was followed by the title track featuring Jay-Z as the third single in early 2012, after asking fans on Twitter. It has currently reached numbers 25 and 31 in the UK, and US, respectively. At the end of 2011, Rihanna was named the highest-selling singles artist of the year in the UK, having overtaken Adele by a sales margin of 6,000 units.On January 8, 2012, Rihanna was named the best-selling digital artist of all time in the United States, having sold 47,571,000 million singles and albums as of 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In early 2012, two collaborations featuring Rihanna were released; Coldplay's "Princess of China" from the album Mylo Xyloto and Drake's Take Care from his album of the same name. Both have currently reached the top twenty of the Billboard Hot 100 at numbers 20 and nine, respectively. In February, "All of the Lights" was nominated for Song of the Year, 'Best Rap Song', and 'Best Rap/Sung Collaboration' at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, eventually winning the latter two awards, bringing Rihanna's total Grammy awards to six. Later that month, Rihanna won her second BRIT Award for 'Best International Female Artist', following the same win the previous year.
On February 16, 2012, it was speculated that former boyfriend Chris Brown was the featured artist on the full length version of Rihanna's track, "Birthday Cake", from Talk That Talk. These rumours were later confirmed when Rihanna posted the song on her Twitter account on her 24th birthday, February 20, 2012, after over a week of speculation. The reports gained worldwide media controversy, due to Brown and Rihanna's physical altercation three years prior. Beth Hardie for the Daily Mirror wrote that the remix came as a shock and noted that Rihanna would face harsh criticism from journalists and fans alike for setting a bad example to younger girls. Hardie continued to state that although the collaboration came as a surprise, "We have to admit, it’s a pretty amazing stroke of genius in terms of publicity and messing with people’s minds." In addition to the shocking remix for the Rihanna track, the pair furthermore fueled controversy having recorded another remix together, this time for Brown's single, "Turn Up the Music" which was released moments later. Rihanna will appear as Petty Officer, Raikes in the Peter Berg-produced film Battleship, which is based on the game of the same name, due for release in May 2012.
On November 19, 2012 Rihanna released her seventh studio album Unapologetic. The album debuted in the United States number on the Billboard 200 with sales of 238,000, becoming Rihanna's first number one album in the country. In addition, it became the best-selling debut week of her career, besting her fifth studio album Loud (2010).nIn a January 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Rihanna confirmed that she has rekindled her relationship with Chris Brown. The confirmation followed persistent media speculation throughout 2012 regarding a reunion between the pair.Brown remains under probation for their 2009 domestic violence incident. In February 2013, Rihanna won her seventh Grammy Award in the category Best Short Form Music Video at the 55th Grammy Awards, for "We Found Love" (2011).The same month, Rihanna presented her first women fashion collection on the London Fashion Week for British street fashion brand River Island. She teamed up with her personal stylist Adam Selman.Also in in the same month, the Official Charts Company revealed that Rihanna had sold 3,868,000 records in the past year in the UK alone, ranking at number one in the list of 2013 BRIT Awards artist nominees.
In March of 2013, Rihanna embarked on her Diamonds World Tour to support her seventh studio album. The tour reached North America, Europe, Oceania, and Africa and has received positive reception.
Volume 65 of the Contemporary Black Biography book series notes that "Rihanna is the rare rhythm and blues (R&B) diva to emerge from the Caribbean world." Becoming an international sensation, Rihanna is known for blending R&B with Caribbean music, such as reggae and dancehall. At the time of her debut, reviewers referred to her as a "bubblegum queen" and her music to "teen pop." Larry Meyler of The Sun stated that "Rihanna going bad is very good" and that she had "[shaken] off any 'teen pop' image as she rocked the stage." While performing at the Ottawa Bluesfest, Denis Armstrong of Canadian Online Explorer commented on her performance saying "her show was a Disney-esque choreographed fantasy of non-stop hip-swivelling, sassy attitude and personal endearments and a string of funky, sugar-free hits."
Rihanna was originally marketed as a reggae singer since she burst into the music scene in 2005, with a styles of pop, R&B and dancehall. Her music include various styles of musical genres, including contemporary R&B, dance-pop and the Caribbean music styles of reggae and dancehall. With the release of Music of the Sun and its lead single "Pon de Replay", Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic described Rihanna's musical style as "synthesize Caribbean rhythms and beats with standard-issue urban dance-pop: Caribbean-inflected urban, if you". Rihanna is described as utilizing "dancehall-lite beats and a reggae vocal cadence." NME describes the singer as a "heady mix of dancehall, reggae and contemporary R&B." Barry Walters of Rolling Stone considers Rihanna's A Girl Like Me to be "lightweight dancehall and R&B jams." After the release of Good Girl Gone Bad, Allmusic's Andy Kellman credits Rihanna to be "as pop as pop gets." Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times described her hit "Umbrella" as a lightweight pop confection with a heavy hip-hop backbeat, a breezy love song enriched by those unexpectedly goth-sounding keyboards and by the incongruous hint of anguish in Rihanna’s girlish voice.
Her debut album featured production from pop veterans Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken who first discovered her. Sturken and Rogers have collaborated with Rihanna many times, including with her debut single "Pon de Replay", which helped launch her career with the tradition of reggae and dance pop and collaborated on her second album. Rihanna then enlisted into the pop and contemporary R&B working with music producer Stargate and singer-songwriter Ne-Yo on "Unfaithful" and sampling the key section, bass line, and drum beat from Soft Cell's 1981 single "Tainted Love" on "SOS". With songs like "Kisses Don't Lie" and "Shut Up and Drive", her music style became more rock-oriented. Unlike Music of the Sun or A Girl Like Me, her third album contained a more dance-pop sound and less of the dancehall, reggae and ballad styles of her previous albums. She has included various styles of music from uptempo pop-reggae with "Pon De Replay", to an 1980s new wave fueled club banger "SOS" to the whiff of gothic horror in a love song "Unfaithful". Most of her love subject ballads contain a mid-tempo pop sound, with an R&B influences that uses of a gently strummed acoustic guitar with the production of Stargate and the songs written by Ne-Yo. Some of her up-tempo dance-pop songs include production from Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and J. R. Rotem. She has also sampled songs from other artist like Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" on "SOS", New Order's "Blue Monday" on "Shut Up and Drive" and 1970s original song "Soul Makossa" of Manu Dibango with a part of the chorus from Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" on "Don't Stop the Music".
Public imageEditNew York magazine described Rihanna's early look as that of a cookie-cutter teen queen while stating that she has the ability to shift looks dramatically and with great ease. This was underscored when in March 2011 American Chronicle writer Arturo Tora termed her “Rihannaissance Woman.” Around the time of the release of her second album, many critics felt that Rihanna's sound and musical material were too similar to those of Beyoncé. Negative reviews appeared, in which her music, music videos, performances and her image were compared to those of Beyoncé, which garnered Rihanna much criticism. Some media even claimed that Jay-Z fashioned her to be a replica of Beyoncé. During the release of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, she adopted a more sexual image. Sonya Magett of Black Voices reported that Rihanna's style has become quite risqué since she burst onto the scene four years ago. After revealing a new image while headlining her first tour, she was likely to be criticized for her tight leather outfit during each show. A review in The Times compared Rihanna's stage wardrobe styling to that of Janet Jackson. He described her outfit as "a vision of Ann Summers couture in thigh-high boots and a few scraps of black PVC." Stuart Derdeyn of The Province commented that "even with the whole haute couture B&D clearly firing on all points, she's still got a ways to go to become the new Janet Jackson."
Rihanna has appeared on Maxim's Hot 100 list five consecutive years, listed in positions eight in 2007, fifteen in 2008, eight in 2009, six in 2010, and twenty-two in 2011.She was also listed on People's 10 Best Dressed Stars of 2008, and ranked seventeenth on Glamour magazine's list of the 50 Most Glamorous Women in 2009. Tracey Lomrantz of Glamour commented, "If style risks could be measured in miles, Rihanna would have criss-crossed the globe a thousand times over already." Rihanna was also declared as Woman of the Year 2009 by Glamour. In June 2007, Gillette named her the Venus Breeze's Celebrity Legs of a Goddess. In October 2011, Esquire declared Rihanna as the Sexiest Woman Alive for 2011. Rihanna has four wax figures of herself at Madame Tussauds Wax Museums in Washington D.C., Vienna, Berlin and London.
In October 2005, Rihanna struck her first endorsement deal with Secret Body Spray for them to sponsor her first tour, Rihanna's Secret Body Spray Tour In 2006, Rihanna participated in several endorsement deals, including Nike sportswear for the launch of her "SOS" and J. C. Penney. That same year, she received an endorsement deal from Clinique to promote their Happy fragrance. 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 Procter & Gamble's female deodorant Secret. In 2007, Rihanna signed with CoverGirl and became a celebrity spokesperson which included appearances on TV commercials and in the Barbados Tourism Authority's tourism commercials.
In December 2008, Rihanna contracted with Gucci to appear in their ads for the Tattoo Heart Collection, a special-edition line. In the Gucci handbag ad, Rihanna is seen hanging from a giant hoop, scantily clad in a barely-there white bodysuit and wearing an oversized white Gucci purse. The success of her single, "Umbrella" earned her an endorsement deal with Totes. Her handlers pitched her hit "Umbrella" to Totes and the song became the soundtrack for commercials in which she starred. On April 8, 2009, it was announced that Rihanna inked a fragrance deal with Jay-Z’s licensing company Iconic Fragrances. The fragrance is named Reb'l Fleur and was released in 2011. Rihanna was working with her artistic director for Rated R, Simon Henwood, on the book Rihanna. It was released on September 14, 2010. In August 2010 Rihanna began appearing in an Australian television advert for Optus, a position previously held by Pink. In May 2011, Rihanna became a spokeswoman for the German skincare brand Nivea. Rihanna's song "California King Bed" was featured as a part of Nivea's "100 Years of Skincare" commercial campaign.
Rihanna created her Believe Foundation in 2006 to help terminally ill children. Rihanna explained her reasons for starting the foundation saying, "When I was young and I would watch television and I would see all the children suffering, I always said: when I grow up, I want to help." Rihanna is also heavily involved in the marketing of her native country of Barbados. She began by including the flag and broken trident in many of her videos, shooting her album packaging for A Girl Like Me there. In September 2007, she became the official face of tourism for Barbados, being included in many of their ad campaigns. She holds the honorary title of Ambassador for Culture and Youth in Barbados. She additionally was honored by the Prime Minister David Thompson, who presented her with several gifts at a national concert on February 20, 2008, in Barbados, called "Rihanna Day". In February 2008, Rihanna thanked and honoured her country during the acceptance speech for her win of "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" at the Grammy Awards. Although Rihanna is heavily involved in the promotion of her country and works with the government in Barbados to do so, she is often criticized by other Barbadians for everything from her music to her successes and for wearing "skimpy clothes". Rihanna, speaking on one incident, said, "I went to the beach and I had on a one-piece swimsuit with jeans [...] They took the picture and they made it look like a top that was really revealing... There were [...] radio programmes about it. It was a big deal for, like, three weeks straight – talking about I'm not setting a good example." Rihanna states she was bullied at school. "Having lighter skin wasn’t a problem in my household, but it was when I went to school – which really confused me at first. The harassment continued to my very last day of elementary school."Rihanna has performed a number of concerts to raise funds for both charities and the Foundation and is a 2008 Cartier Love Charity Bracelet Ambassador. She performed at Madonna’s Raising Malawi fundraiser on February 6, 2008, in New York City. After becoming an honorary cultural ambassador for Barbados, Rihanna became involved with DKMS, an international donor network based in Tübingen, Germany, to try to find a donor for Lisa Gershowitz Flynn. The Manhattan attorney had been diagnosed in November with acute myelogenous leukemia. In January 2008, Rihanna contributed in the fight against AIDS when she visited the H&M in New York to support Fashion Against AIDS by presenting her t-shirt design and signing autographs for a limited time with slogans like "Believe" and "Stop and Think." The collection features t-shirts and hoodies designed by Rihanna, Timbaland and other well-known designers, musicians and artists. The line, called Fashion Against AIDS, was launched in February 2008 to raise awareness of the disease among teens and spread awareness about HIV/AIDS. In August 2008, Rihanna and other pop, rock, R&B and country singers such as Carrie Underwood, Ciara, Beyoncé Knowles, Leona Lewis, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and Fergie recorded the charity single, "Just Stand Up!", the theme song to the anti-cancer campaign Stand Up to Cancer and its theme song. The singers performed the song live on September 5, 2008. Rihanna was also selected as the spokesmodel for Gucci’s first United Nations Children's Fund ad campaign. She appeared in the fashion house’s Tattoo Heart campaign, which premiered in December 2008. Rihanna was photographed in series of special edition print ads with United Nations Children's Fund items, twenty-five percent of sales will benefit the children’s charity.
On November 19, 2008, Rihanna was enlisted by Gucci's Frida Giannini along with Madonna to light the United Nations Children's Fund Christmas snowflake in New York City at the Grand Army Plaza. In 2008, she became the global representative and the face of the 4th annual Gucci Campaign to Benefit United Nations Children's Fund. The campaign aimed to raise funds for children in Africa through the sale of its Tattoo Heart collection of bags, which launched worldwide on November 19, 2008. Rihanna has been a part of many benefit concerts to help raise money for various illnesses, such as cancer for Hope Rocks. Rihanna performed on January 20, 2009, at the Recording Industry Association of America's Presidential Inauguration Charity Ball to raise money for the world largest anti-hunger organization. On April 2, 2009, Rihanna visited the NYU Medical Center to help look for another bone marrow donor for a young girl named Jasmina Anema. Rihanna first learned about Anema's plight in February 2009, when she saw the moving video Anema's best friend, Isabelle Huurman, and her mother, Karen Detrick, made appealing for donors to save Anema. Rihanna honored Anema's best friend, Isabella, for her efforts for trying to save her best friend at a DKMS Gala on May 7, 2009. Jasmina Anema eventually received her transplant on June 11, 2009, but died on January 27, 2010. In September 2009, Rihanna performed at Jay-Z's "Answer the Call" concert, which paid tribute to the police officers and firefighters who died on the September 11 attacks. In February 2011, Rihanna was scheduled to perform at a charity concert for the Women's Cancer Research Fund, but was forced to pull out at the last minute, due to bronchitis.
- Music of the Sun (2005)
- A Girl like Me (2006)
- A Girl Like Me: Deluxe Edition (2006)
- Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)
- Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded (2008)
- Good Girl Gone Bad; The Remixes (2009)
- 3CD Collector's Set (2009)
- Rated R (2009)
- 2 for 1: Music of the Sun + A Girl Like Me (2010)
- Rated R: Remixed (2010)
- Coffred 4 CD (2010)
- Loud (2010)
- Loud (Deluxe Edition)
- Talk That Talk (2011)
- Talk That Talk (Deluxe Edition) (2011)
- Unapologetic (2012)
- Unapologetic (Deluxe Edition) (2012)
- Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006)
- Las Vegas (2003-2008)
- Good Girl Gone Bad Live (2008)
- Almost Famous II (2009)
- Inside Stargate (2012)
- Bettie Page Reveals All (2012)
- Battleship (2012)
- Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)
- This Is The End (2013)
- Rihanna's Secret Body Spray Tour (2005)
- PCD Album Promotional Tour (2006)
- Rock Tha Block (2006)
- Rihanna: Live in Concert Tour (2006)
- Good Girl Gone Bad Tour (2007—2009)
- Glow in the Dark Tour (2008)
- A Girl's Night Out (2008)
- Last Girl on Earth Tour (2010—2011)
- Loud Tour (2011)
- 777 Tour (2012)
- Diamonds World Tour (2013)
Awards and nominationsEdit
See gallery here