March 23, 2009
Rihanna was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados, to Ronald Fenty of Barbados (of African and Irish ancestry)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. 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, Beyonce Knowles, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Bob Marley and her Caribbean background as major musical influences.

Rihanna's debut album, Music of the Sun, was released on August 30, 2005, yielding two hit 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 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. 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.

RihannaRihanna 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. The second single, entitled "Unfaithful", was written by R&B singer Ne-Yo and became her third top ten hit in the U.S. and in the UK. 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".

RihannaThe album so far has yielded five hit singles, including the world-wide number one hit "Umbrella", featuring Jay-Z. 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.

RihannaRihanna says she is inspired by such artists like Alicia Keys, Beyonce Knowles and Mariah Carey. She also states that on her album, you'll not only listen to reggae, but you'll hear ballads and other R&B fused tracks.

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