Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988) (/riˈænə/ ree-an-ə), is a Barbadian singer and songwriter. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, her career began upon meeting record producer Evan Rogers in late 2003 through mutual friends; she recorded demo tapes with his guidance. Her tape was sent to several record labels, and she subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for its then-president, hip-hop producer and rapper Jay Z. Both her debut album, Music of the Sun (2005) and its follow-up A Girl Like Me (2006) peaked in the top ten on the US Billboard 200; the former featured the commercially successful song “Pon de Replay” while the latter produced her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, “SOS”.
She rose to widespread prominence and became a household name with the release of her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), and its chart-topping lead single “Umbrella.” The album and its 2008 Reloaded re-release were nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Umbrella”. From 2009 to 2012, following a highly publicized altercation with then-boyfriend, entertainer Chris Brown, she annually released four Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) platinum certified albums: Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011), and her first Billboard 200 number one album Unapologetic (2012). The same year, she appeared in her first theatrical feature film, Battleship.
Rihanna has sold over 41 million albums and 150 million songs worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. Many of her songs rank among the world’s best-selling singles of all time, such as “Umbrella”, “Take a Bow”, “Disturbia”, “Only Girl (In the World)”, “S&M”, “We Found Love”, “Diamonds” and “Stay”. In addition to her solo work, Rihanna has collaborated with other artists and was featured on the worldwide hits “Can’t Remember to Forget You” (with Shakira), “Live Your Life” (with T.I.), “Run This Town” (with Jay-Z and Kanye West), “Love the Way You Lie” and “The Monster” (both with Eminem). She has achieved thirteen number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the youngest and fastest solo artist to accomplish this record. Billboard named her the Digital Songs Artist of the 2000s decade and the top Hot 100 artist of the 2010s decade.
Rihanna is known for frequently reinventing her style and image, most notably since Good Girl Gone Bad. Her work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including eight Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 23 Billboard Music Awards, and two BRIT Awards. In 2012, Forbes ranked her the fourth most powerful celebrity of the year, with earnings of $53 million between May 2011 and May 2012. The same year, Time named Rihanna one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. At the American Music Awards of 2013, she received the first ever Icon Award. On June 2, 2014, Rihanna received the Fashion Icon lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados. Her mother, Monica Braithwaite, is a retired accountant of Afro-Guyanese background, and her father, Ronald Fenty, is a warehouse supervisor of Barbadian and Irish descent. Rihanna has two brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty, and two half-sisters and a half-brother from her father’s side, each born to different mothers from his previous relationships. She grew up in a three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown and sold clothes with her father in a stall on the street. Rihanna’s childhood was deeply affected by her father’s addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol. By the time she was fourteen, her parents had divorced. Rihanna grew up listening to reggae music and began singing at around the age of seven. She attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and Combermere High School, where she studied alongside future England cricketer Chris Jordan and formed a musical trio with two of her classmates. Rihanna was an army cadet in a sub-military programme; the singer-songwriter Shontelle was her drill sergeant. Although she initially wanted to graduate from high school, she chose to pursue a musical career instead.
In 2009, Rihanna said she was “effectively bankrupt”, due to gross mismanagement from accountancy firm, Berdon LLP. Rihanna was given the go ahead to buy a property priced between $7 and $7.5 million. The property was later sold for a $2 million loss. Her expenses also “doubled” during this time. Rihanna was also losing money from her “Last Girl on Earth” tour but she was never warned of this by the accountants. Forbes began reporting on Rihanna’s earnings in 2012, calculating that she earned $53 million between May 2011 and May 2012, for her music, tour, and endorsements. In 2013 Rihanna came in at number thirteen on the list with a total earning of $43 million due to endorsements such as vita coco. Rihanna’s total net-worth is an estimated $90 million.
On February 8, 2009, Rihanna’s scheduled performance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards was cancelled. Reports surfaced that then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown had beaten her. He 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 that Rihanna had sustained visible injuries—an organization known as STOParazzi proposed “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 discussed the controversial distribution of the leaked photograph. Rihanna was subpoenaed to testify during a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles on June 22, 2009. On June 22, 2009, Brown pled guilty to felony assault. Brown received five years probation and was ordered to stay fifty yards (46 meters) away from Rihanna, unless at public events, which then would be reduced to ten yards (nine meters). In February 2011, at the request of Brown’s lawyer and with Rihanna’s consent, Judge Patricia Schnegg modified the restraining order to a “level one order”, which allows the singers to appear at awards shows together in the future.
From December 2009 to 2010, Rihanna dated Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Matt Kemp. Canadian rapper Drake has also dated the singer. In a January 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Rihanna confirmed that she had rekindled her relationship with Chris Brown, though he remained under probation for the 2009 domestic violence incident. The confirmation followed persistent media speculation throughout 2012 regarding the pair’s reunion. In a May 2013 interview, Brown stated that he and Rihanna had broken up again.
Rihanna has stated that she believes in God and that she focuses on obeying God and reading her Bible. She is a fan of Christian minister Joyce Meyer and tweeted to her “you’re awesome”.