Robyn Rihanna Fentiteau (born February 20, 1988), principally known by the stage name Rihanna (pronunciation REE-anna), is a Barbadian singer with musical influences from pop, reggae, dancehall, and Soca.
Rihanna was born on the Caribbean island nation of Barbados as the first of three children to Ronald Fenty, a Barbadian father, who is of Creole descent, and Monica Fenty, a Guyanese mother. She pursued her primary education at Charles F. Broome Memorial School and her secondary education at one of Barbados’ grammar schools, the prestigious Combermere School, where she formed a musical trio with two of her classmates. She won the Miss Combermere Pageant in 2004; her talent was singing. In November 2004, she performed at the Colours of Combermere School show, singing Mariah Carey’s “Hero”.
Rihanna received her big break at the age of fifteen when one of her friends introduced her to music producer Evan Rogers while he was vacationing in Barbados with his Barbadian wife Jackie. Rogers, along with his partner Carl Sturken, helped Rihanna record demo material in the United States that was sent to various recording companies including Def Jam, where Rihanna auditioned for CEO Jay-Z and was signed on the spot at the age of sixteen.
Sometime before she released her album, she released a mixtape titled: This is Rihanna “The Mixtape”. Rihanna’s debut album Music of the Sun, which she co-wrote, was released in August 2005, led by the single “Pon de Replay”, which peaked at number two on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. The second single, “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want”, was less successful than its predecessor but reached the top twenty in several countries. The album itself peaked within the top ten in Canada, and the U.S., and within the top forty in the UK. It has received platinum certifications in several countries and a Gold certification in the U.S. To further promote the album, Rihanna toured with Gwen Stefani. The album itself sold just under 500,000 copies in the US and 2 million worldwide. In 2006, Rihanna participated in several endorsement deals, including Nike and J.C. Penney. She released her second album, A Girl Like Me, in April 2006 less than eight months after the release of her debut album. The album debuted at number five in the U.S. and number six in the UK. The lead single, “SOS”, was used in her endorsement deal with Nike. The song became Rihanna’s first number one on the Hot 100 chart; it also debuted at number one on the Hot Digital Songs chart where it became the second biggest first week digital single ever. “SOS” peaked at number one in Australia and number two in the UK. The second single, a slow ballad which addresses the feelings of guilt a girl faces as she cheats on her boyfriend titled “Unfaithful”, became her third top ten hit in the U.S & the U.K. (becoming her third #2 single held off by “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira) “We Ride”, the 3rd single premiered at radio stations on August 22, 2006.”A Girl Like Me” is Rihanna’s biggest selling album to date and was certified platinum by the RIAA.