Pop diva Rihanna is one of the hottest singers to captivate the music scene in recent years; her powerhouse vocals and provocative performances are continually enchanting audiences around the globe. The singer’s unique musical style combines a variety of genres (R&B, dancehall and reggae) with undeniably catchy pop hooks that often catapult her name to the top of the charts.
Rihanna was born on the Caribbean island of Barbados and began singing at age 7. By age 14, she and two of her classmates had formed an all-girl group exhibiting a similar look and sound to the band Destiny’s Child. However, Rihanna, like Beyoncé Knowles before her, possessed a star power that outshone her bandmates, and the blossoming performer was eventually signed as a solo artist to the Def Jam record label in New York.
Her debut album, Music of the Sun, pays homage to Rihanna’s island heritage. It was released in August 2005 and reached number 10 on the Billboard 200, selling over two million copies worldwide. The album’s lead single, ‘Pon de Replay’, shot to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became 2005’s summer dance club anthem. Since then, Rihanna has released five more albums, showing her versatility as an artist by reinventing her image and sound with every release.
To this chameleon from the Caribbean, variety truly is the spice of life, and she’s forever seeking to chart new waters. It’s no surprise that she was recently named the top selling digital artist of all time, surpassing her idol—and the Queen of reinvention—Madonna. And yet amidst all of her successes, Rihanna remains grounded and eternally committed to referencing her beloved roots. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN