(born Robyn Rihanna Fenty
on February 20,
1988) is a Barbadian recording artist and model.
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 after auditioning for
then-label head Jay-Z.
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 hit single "Pon
de Replay". Less than a year later, she released her second
studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006), which peaked within
the top five of the Billboard albums chart, and produced
her first US number one hit single, "SOS", as well as
Billboard Hot 100 top ten entries "Unfaithful" and "Break It
Off". Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad
(2007), peaking at number two on the Billboard 200,
featured five top ten hits including three US number one hit
singles—"Umbrella", "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia"—and the
worldwide hit "Don't Stop the Music".
Picture of Rihanna on the red carpet 2009
The album was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best
Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella," which features Jay-Z.
Her fourth studio album, Rated R, was released in
November 2009. As of January 2010, Rihanna has released two
singles from the album, "Russian Roulette" and "Hard", which
both peaked within the top ten on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
This brings the total amount of top tens on the chart to
Rihanna has sold over 14.6 million records and 44 million
singles/digital downloads worldwide in her five-year career
She has received several accolades, including the 2007 World
Music Awards for World's Best-Selling Pop Female Artist and
Female Entertainer of the Year, as well as the 2008 American
Music Awards for Favourite Soul/R&B Female Artist and
Pop/Rock Female Artist.
Rihanna has attained five Hot 100 number one singles, becoming
the first of two female artists, joint with Beyoncé, with the
most number ones attained within the 2000s. She also serves as
one of Barbados' honorary cultural ambassadors.
In January 2010, Rihanna received two Grammy Awards for her 2009
single "Run This Town", bringing her total number of Grammys won
1988–2004: Early life and career beginnings
Rihanna was born in Saint Michael, Barbados on February 20,
1988, to Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor, and Monica Fenty,
Her mother, a native of Guyana, is Afro-Guyanese, and her father
is of Barbadian and Irish descent.
She is the oldest of three siblings; two younger brothers,
Rorrey and Rajad Fenty.
She began singing at around the age of seven.
Her childhood was deeply affected by her father's addiction to
crack cocaine and parent's rocky marriage, which ended when she
was fourteen years old.
Rihanna attended Charles F. Broome Memorial School, a primary
school in Barbados, and then the Combermere School, where she
formed a musical trio with two of her classmates at the age of
fifteen. In 2004 she won the Miss Combermere Beauty Pageant.
She was an army cadet in a sub-military programme that trained
with the military of Barbados and Shontelle was her drill
At the age of 15, she formed a girl group with two of her
In 2003 friends introduced Rihanna and her two bandmates to
record producer Evan Rogers, who was vacationing in Barbados
with his wife. The group auditioned for Rogers, who said that
"the minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other
two girls didn't exist." While auditioning for Rogers, Rihanna
sang Destiny's Child's cover of "Emotion".
Over the next year, Rihanna and her mom shuttled back and forth
to Rogers home in Stamford, Connecticut.
Then, shortly after turning 16, she relocated in the United
States and moved in with Rogers and his wife.
Carl Sturken helped Rihanna record a four-song demo,
which included the ballad "Last Time," a cover of Whitney
Houston’s hit "For the Love of You"
and what would become her first hit, "Pon de Replay" to send to
various recording companies. It took a year to record the demos,
because she was going to school and would only record during
summer and Christmas school breaks.
Rihanna's demo made its way to Def Jam, which invited her to
audition for the label's then-president, Jay-Z, who quickly
2005–2006: Music of the Sun and A Girl Like Me
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 the Billboard Hot 100.
It also became a global hit where it peaked 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 has sold over two millions copies worldwide and is
certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America,
denoting shipments to US retailers of over 500,000 units.
Her music was marketed within the reggae genres because of
her Caribbean descent. The album received mixed reviews by music
critics. Rolling Stone magazine rated 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 "Pon de Replay", having managed a peak
position of number thirty-six in the US, and number eleven on
the UK Singles Chart.
In Australia, Ireland and New Zealand the single proved to be
well-received reaching the top ten in those countries. However,
the third single, "Let Me" was only released in Japan, peaking
at number eight.
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, Stargate,
J. R. Rotem and label-mate singer-songwriter Ne-Yo.
While recording the album, Rihanna served as an opening act for
Gwen Stefani to promote her debut album.
The lead single, "SOS", peaked at number one on the Billboard
Hot 100, becoming her first number-one in the United States.
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 has been certified
platinum by the RIAA, having shipped over one million units.
Internationally, the album peaked at number one on the Top
Canadian Albums, five on the UK Albums Chart and number five on
the Irish Album Chart. The 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 also 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 second single, "Unfaithful", became a major worldwide hit,
reaching the top ten in dozen countries around the world,
including the United States where it reached number six on the
Billboard Hot 100, as well as topping the charts in
Canada, France and Switzerland.
The albums third single, "We Ride"
failed to reprise the success of the lead single but the fourth
single, "Break It Off" featuring Sean Paul, jumped from number
fifty-two to number ten eventually peaking at number nine.
After the release of the album, she embarked on the Rock Tha
Block Tour and then toured with Pussycat Dolls from November
2006 to February 2007 in the United Kingdom.
2007–2008: Good Girl Gone Bad
Rihanna released her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad,
in June 2007. Prior to the release of the album, she spent the
week of the Grammys writing songs for the album with Ne-Yo.
She adopted a more sexual image while recording the album,
eventually dying her hair black and cutting it short. Rihanna
worked with Timbaland and Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, as well
as previous musical collaborators such as Stargate, Carl Sturken
and Evan Rogers to re-imagine her album compositions with
uptempo dance tracks.
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
The album topped the charts in countries like the United
Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Russia and Ireland, and peaked
at number two in the United States and Australia. Unlike
previous work, the album featured a more dance-pop sound instead
of the dancehall, reggae and ballad styles. The album received
positive reviews by critics, becoming her most critically
acclaimed album at that time compared to her previous efforts.
It yielded eight hit singles — all singles reaching the top
twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 — including the worldwide
number-one hit "Umbrella," featuring Jay-Z. In addition to
reaching number one in various countries, "Umbrella" was the
number one single in the United Kingdom for ten consecutive
it the longest-running number-one single since Wet Wet Wet's
single "Love Is All Around" spent fifteen weeks at the top in
The song is listed number three on the 100 Best Songs of 2007
published by Rolling Stone magazine.
Her other singles, "Shut Up and Drive", "Don't Stop The Music"
and "Hate That I Love You" were able to mirror the success of
"Umbrella," with "Don't Stop the Music" reaching number three on
the Billboard Hot 100 while peaking at number one in
With the re-issue of her third album, titled Good Girl
Gone Bad: Reloaded, which was released in June 2008. Rihanna
released the first singles from the re-release "Take a Bow"
— which became a worldwide number-one hit — the duet with Maroon
5, "If I Never See Your Face Again,"
and the other US number-one hit "Disturbia."
"Disturbia" reached to number four before reaching number one,
as her previous single, "Take a Bow", was at number two, making
Rihanna the seventh female singer to have two songs in the top
five. Meanwhile, Rihanna was 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
Hot 100 thus far ("SOS," "Umbrella," "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia,"
as well as T.I.'s "Live Your Life").
This made Rihanna one of the two female solo artist with the
most number-one singles this decade, with the other being
Good Girl Gone Bad has shipped over two million units in
the United States, receiving a two-time platinum certification
from RIAA; this gave Rihanna her best-selling album, to date.
She was nominated in four categories at the 2007 MTV Video Music
Awards, winning Monster Single of the Year and Video of the
Year. At the
2008 Grammy Awards, Rihanna earned her first Grammy Award for
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 several shows across the United
States, 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 also won Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite
Soul/R&B Female Artist at the 2008 American Music Awards.
2009–present: Domestic violence case and Rated R
On February 8, 2009, Rihanna's scheduled performance at the
2009 Grammy Awards was cancelled.
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
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
has 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 "[t]he 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 L.A. on June 22, 2009.
"The DA told me Rihanna will be subpoenaed. I will accept on her
behalf," Rihanna's attorney, Donald Etra told Us Weekly.
"She will appear in court, and if asked to testify, she will do
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 will be reduced to ten yards.
Rihanna collaborated with Jay-Z and Kanye West on "Run This
song peaked at number two on Billboard Hot 100 and also
reached the top ten in ten other countries. She appeared on the
cover of Vogue Italia for the September 2009 Issue.
The photo shoot was influenced by Rihanna's hair, which she had
cut for the shoot into a mohawk-like style. The style of the
shoot was Extreme Couture and very dark, and in one shot she
Rihanna performed "Run This Town" along with Jay-Z and West for
the "Answer the Call" concert at Madison Square Garden in
September 2009, making it her first musical performance since
the altercation with Brown.
The trio also performed "Run This Town," on the premiere of
The Jay Leno Show on September 14, 2009.
Rihanna started recording in the studio with numerous
different producers, including The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Chase
& Status, Stargate, Slash, Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo and Akon, on
her fourth studio album Rated R in March 2009.
On October 8, 2009, Rihanna shot the cover for her fourth album
with Ellen von Unwerth in Berlin.
Rihanna worked closely with Simon Henwood for the album's brand
The new album was released November 23, 2009.
The album's lead single, "Russian Roulette", was released on
October 20, 2009.
Rihanna performed the song on The X Factor on November
29, 2009. The
official video was released on November 13, 2009. The second
single, "Hard" which features Young Jeezy, was released on
November 2, 2009.
On October 31, 2009, The National announced that
Rihanna would be appearing at a New Year's Eve concert in Abu
Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Rihanna was originally scheduled to perform in Dubai, in the
United Arab Emirates, on May 28 that same year but cancelled due
to personal reasons. She performed in the Emirates Palace in Abu
Dhabi on the December 31, 2009. Al Braik Investments & AEG Live
were the main sponsors of the event.
In January 2010, Rihanna won two Barbados Music Awards for
"Song of the Year" with Umbrella and "Entertainer of the
Decade". Also at the 2010 NRJ Music Awards, she was named
"International Female Artist of the Year".
In addition, she, Jay-Z, and Kanye West won the "Best Rap Song"
and "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" awards for "Run This Town" at
the Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010.
On December 9, 2009, Rihanna announced new dates for her 2010
tour, The Rated R Tour. So far, 24 dates have been announced in
Europe with more dates expected to be announced in North
America, Asia and Oceania in early 2010.
Musical style and influences
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.
Peter Coulter of the Antrim Times, commented that
"[Rihanna] has an amazing voice which showed during her acoustic
set, she just needs to work on her audience engagement during
At the time of her debut, reviewers referred to her as a
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 in 2006, 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."
After revealing a new image while headlining her first tour, she
was likely to be criticize 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 also described her outfit
as "a vision of Ann Summers couture in thigh-high boots and a
few scraps of black PVC."
However, 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
Rihanna's musical style has changed during the release of her
last three albums. She was originally marketed as a reggae
singer since she burst on scene in 2005, with a styles of pop,
R&B and dancehall. Her music also include various styles of
musical genres, including contemporary R&B, dance-pop, pop rock
and the Caribbean music styles of reggae and dancehall.
With the release of her debut album 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 will."
Rihanna is also 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."
During the release of her sophomore album, many critics felt
that Rihanna's sound and substance was too heavily similar to
that of Beyoncé's.
The media even made negative reviews comparing her music,
music videos, performances
and even her image to Beyoncé,
which garnered Rihanna much criticism.
Some media even unfairly claimed that Jay-Z fashioned her to be
a replica of Beyoncé.
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
Her debut album featured a refreshing touch from pop veterans
Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken of Syndicated Rhythm productions,
who first discovered her. Carl Sturken and Evan 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 also collaborated on her
sophomore 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".
The concept of her third studio album was to head in a new
direction with the help of music producers Timbaland, will.i.am
and Sean Garrett, and also to re-imagine her album compositions
with fresh, uptempo dance tracks.
While recording the album, Rihanna stated that she wants to keep
people dancing but still be soulful at the same time.
She then commented "You feel different every album, and [at]
this stage I feel like I want to do a lot of uptempo [songs]."
She also began taking voice lessons from Ne-Yo for the third
album. With songs like "Kisses Don't Lie" and "Shut Up and
Drive", her music style became more pop 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
She has included various styles of music from uptempo
pop-reggae with "Pon De Replay", to an 80's 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 taken to the music industry tradition of sampling
songs from other artist like Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" on
New Order's "Blue Monday" on "Shut Up and Drive" and '70s
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".
One of Rihanna's major influences and idols is Mariah Carey,
whose song "Hero" she covered while performing at a school
talent show. She says, "I looked up to [Mariah] a lot and I
still do. I admire her as an artist, and to [compete with her]
was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Rihanna also considers Madonna as one of her biggest influences
and said that she wants to be the "black Madonna". She mentioned
that she respects Madonna's ability to reinvent herself and
aspires to be just as successful.
Beyoncé Knowles has also been named as her major influence,
citing that she was inspired to start her career after watching
Knowles on television as part of a Destiny's Child performance .
Of Janet Jackson, Rihanna expressed: "She was one of the first
female pop icons that I could relate to ... She was so vibrant,
she had so much energy.She still has power. I’ve seen her on stage, and she can
stand there for 20 minutes and have the whole arena scream at
her. You have to love Janet."
Her other musical influences include Bob Marley, Alicia Keys
Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Celine Dion,
Her music also contains strong influences of caribbean music and
says that it has influenced her tremendously. Her friend and
former Island Def Jam record label artist Fefe Dobson was
someone that she admired and looked up to, having a fellow
artist writing, singing, and performing the music she truly
In a interview, Rihanna stated, that while growing up in
Barbados, she grew up listening to reggae music and when she
came to the United States she was exposed to many different
types of music.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune commented "[i]n the
tradition of Madonna and Janet Jackson, Rihanna has become the
video vixen of the '00s ... Rihanna has perfected the pout, the
long-legged strut and trend-setting hairdos that keep women and
men alike checking her out on YouTube."
George Epaminondas of InStyle considers Rihanna's music
videos to be "cinematic" due to her "blend of lush island
rhythms and swinging pop and ... mischievous sensuality."
Rihanna commented that Marilyn Monroe and vintage clothing
served for visual inspiration for the music video "Hate That I
Love You" and "Rehab"; in contrast, the "dark, creepy" scenes of
"Disturbia" have drawn comparison to Michael Jackson's
The music video also ranked number five on the "Top Five Most
Paranoid Music Videos" published by MTV Buzzworthy.
The New York magazine described Rihanna's early look
as a cookie-cutter teen queen and that she has the ability to
shift looks so dramatically and with such ease.
Since the release of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad,
[Rihanna's] has become a sex symbol and also set herself apart
from other R&B starlets,
opting for designer couture over belly-baring crop tops.
Sonya Magett of Black Voices reported that Rihanna's style has
become quite risqué since she burst on the scene 4 years ago.
In 2008, she constantly surprised, switching from pretty and
sweet in pastels on the red carpet to dominatrix-leaning wear on
stage and at awards shows.
Rihanna's fashion and style also landed her on the list of
People's 10 Best Dressed Stars of 2008.
Glamour also awarded Rihanna with the seventeenth most
glamorous woman of 2009 out of fifty. Glamour also
commented on Rihanna's style saying "rockstar of leading ladies"
and "She almost can’t make a style mistake right now.” They also
said her "little-bit-punky, very-much-girly look still entrances
They also commented on Rihanna's fashion risks saying "If style
risks could be measured in miles, Rihanna would have
criss-crossed the globe a thousand times over already."
Rihanna's image has also been identified as a sex symbol.
Regal of the Associated Content stated that Rihanna
quickly garnered a more mature and definitely sexier look. In
2007, she ranked #8 in Maxim's 2007 Hot 100 list;
she then ranked #15 on 2008 Hot 100 list the following year.
In June 2007, Rihanna was named 2007 Venus Breeze’s “Celebrity
Legs Of A Goddess” by Gillette.
Margeaux Watson of Entertainment Weekly wrote an article
entitled "Rihanna: Diva of the year" which he refers to her
breakout success of 2008.
In 2009, Maxim awarded Rihanna as the number 8th most sexiest
woman on earth.
This made Rihanna the only female of African descent in the top
ten or top twenty for that matter.
Rihanna's tattoos have drawn much media attention.
She has a total of twelve known tattoos,
including a music note tattoo on her ankle, a Pisces sign behind
her right ear,
a Sanskrit prayer going down her hip, a star in her left ear,
the word "love" on her left middle finger,
an Arabic phrase on her ribcage area, meaning "Freedom is God",
a trail of stars going down the back of her neck,
a skull with a pink hair bow, the phrase ’shhh...’
on her right index finger,
the date ‘11.4.86′ on top of her left shoulder
and a henna-style dragon claw,
complete with Hawaiian hibiscus flowers. Her most recent gun
tattoo was planned to be just below her shoulders but changed it
to her ribcage.
Although, she was likely to be criticized for her tattoo,
BangBang, the tattoo artist, was quick to explain that the image
simply “represents strength and power”.
Relations with Barbados
Rihanna is 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, also shooting her album packaging for A Girl Like
In September 2007, she became the official face of tourism for
Barbados, being included in many of their ad campaigns. She
currently holds an honourary title of Ambassador for Culture and
Youth in Barbados.
She additionally was honoured by the Prime Minister David
Thompson, who presented her several gifts at a national concert
on 20 February 2008 in Barbados, called "Rihanna Day".
Regardless, In February 2008, Rihanna thanked her country and
honoured them 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 constantly criticized and ridiculed
for everything from her music, her successes and for wearing
Rihanna speaking on the incident, "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
Rihanna also 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."
They also mentioned that Rihanna was too young for Def Jam to
push her as a "sex symbol", making a plea that she cover up.
The media and The Nation newspaper constantly make
personal attacks and have shown lack of support and
Rihanna spoke out against the scrutiny to Entertainment
stating, "They all hate me. I didn’t have to talk about them. I
didn’t have to even mention that I’m from Barbados. But I do and
people kind of take it for granted. They hate me. They talk shit
about me all the time. But I’m like, "Whatever. I’m still doing
this cause I love to do it and you’re not going to stop me".
Media fought back with letters to Rihanna publicly via a
Barbadian newspaper, "[what she said] sounds as if though she is
doing us a favour.
If God didn't give us a Rihanna, he would
have given us someone else. So don't ever for a second get to
thinking you are irreplaceable, Rihanna"
and "Her putting Barbados on the map is nonsense. Barbados was
well on the map before she came along; and will be when she is
mentor and music producer Evan Rogers spoke out to the media
stating that Rihanna subsequently "formed her impression of any
Bajan dislike from the reception she received at the recent
Barbados Music Awards where," according to Rogers, "It was
disappointing the way some people reacted as if they were almost
rooting against her".
Products and endorsements
In October 2005, Rihanna struck her first endorsement deal
with Secret Body Spray
for them to sponsor her first tour.
In 2006, Rihanna participated in several endorsement deals,
including Nike sportswear for the launch of her "SOS"
and J. C. Penney. In 2007, Rihanna signed with CoverGirl and
became a celebrity spokesperson which included appearances on TV
and in the Barbados Tourism Authority's tourism commercials. She
also received an endorsement deal from Clinique in 2006 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 P&G's female deodorant Secret. 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" also inked 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.
Iconic Fragrance will launch the fragrance in the summer of
Rihanna confirmed whilst on the radio show "Valentine In The
Morning" that her new fragrance is called "Route 22".
Rihanna is working with her artistic director for Rated R,
Simon Henwood, on the book Rihanna: The Last Girl on Earth.
It is scheduled for release on June 29, 2010.
In 2007, Rihanna began showing interest in making film
She made her acting debut in a cameo role to the film Bring
It On: All or Nothing, released on August 8, 2006.
During this time, she stated that singing was always the bigger
picture, but she definitely wants to get into acting as well.
Rihanna also made an appearance as the central character in
Kanye West's music video "Paranoid".
According to the Daily News, Rihanna has been taking
acting classes during her time in New York, and will make her
acting debut in Personal Protection, due to start filming
later this year.
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 has also performed a number of concerts to raise funds
for both charities and the Foundation and is also 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 involed with DKMS, an international donor network
based in Tübingen, Germany, to try to find a donor for Lisa
She was 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
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
singers performed the song live on September 5, 2008.
In 2008, Rihanna was selected as the spokes model 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 also been apart of many benefit concerts to help
raise money for various illnesses, such as cancer for Hope
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 Centre to
help look for another bone marrow donor for a young girl named
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
but died on January 27, 2010.[citation
In September 2009, Rihanna performed at Jay-Z's "Answer to
Call" concert, which paid tribute to the police officers and
firefighters who died on the September 11 attacks.
Main article: Rihanna discography
- Music of the Sun (2005)
- A Girl Like Me (2006)
- Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)
- Rated R (2009)
- Rihanna 2006 Tour (2006)
- The Good Girl Gone Bad Tour (2007–09)
- Glow in the Dark Tour (2008)
- Rated R Tour (2010)
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