Portrait of Rihanna wearing white shirt, oversized red and black bow and wrapped in red and black oversized tie in PumaxFenty campaign, 'Creeper Phatty'
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Rihanna

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Last updated on
October 28, 2023

Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, to Monica Braithwaite, an accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor. Growing up in a modest three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown, her early years were challenging due to her father's struggles with alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction. These hardships led to her parents' divorce when she was 14. Despite the difficulties, her passion for music was evident from a young age. She attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and later Combermere High School, where she formed a musical trio with two classmates.

In 2003, her life took a dramatic turn when she auditioned for American record producer Evan Rogers, who was vacationing in Barbados. Captivated by her talent, Rogers invited her to the United States to record demo tapes. One of these demos reached Jay-Z, who was then the CEO of Def Jam Recordings. After a successful audition, she was signed to a six-album deal, marking the beginning of her professional music career.

Her debut album, "Music of the Sun," was released in 2005 and featured the hit single "Pon de Replay." The album received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A year later, she released her second album, "A Girl Like Me," which included hits like "SOS" and "Unfaithful." However, it was the 2007 release of her third album, "Good Girl Gone Bad," that catapulted her to international stardom. The album featured the chart-topping single "Umbrella," featuring Jay-Z, which earned her a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Following this success, she released a series of albums that further solidified her status as a global music icon. "Rated R" in 2009 was a darker, more introspective album that dealt with themes of heartbreak and resilience. "Loud" in 2010 returned to her dance-pop roots and included hits like "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?" Her albums "Talk That Talk" in 2011 and "Unapologetic" in 2012 continued her streak of commercial and critical successes, featuring hits like "We Found Love" and "Diamonds."

Beyond her musical achievements, she also ventured into business and philanthropy. In 2012, she established the Clara Lionel Foundation, focusing on education and emergency response programs. In 2017, she launched Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics brand that gained widespread acclaim for its inclusivity. She also founded Savage X Fenty, a lingerie line, and became the first black woman to head a luxury brand for LVMH with her fashion house, Fenty.

In 2018, she was appointed as an ambassador of education, tourism, and investment by the Government of Barbados. A significant milestone came in 2021 when she was declared a National Hero of Barbados, an honor that speaks volumes about her impact not just in her home country but globally.

As of 2023, she is a mother of two children. She has been in high-profile relationships, including with Chris Brown and Hassan Jameel, and her current relationship is with rapper A$AP Rocky. That same year, she performed at the Super Bowl halftime show, which became the most-watched in history. This decision was significant, especially considering that she had turned down the opportunity in 2019 in support of Colin Kaepernick. Her performance was not just a career milestone but also a cultural moment that highlighted her influence and reach.

With over 250 million records sold worldwide, she is the second-best-selling female music artist of all time. She has received numerous awards, including nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, and 12 Billboard Music Awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2018. As of 2023, she is the wealthiest female musician, with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion.

Her journey from a small island in the Caribbean to becoming a global icon is a story of talent meeting opportunity, laced with resilience and strategic acumen. She has not only conquered the music world but has also made indelible marks in business, philanthropy, and social activism. Her influence transcends her music to touch on social issues, making her one of the most impactful artists of her generation.

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