Chance Meeting in Barbados
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on Feb. 20, 1988, the path to fame began when Rihanna was just a teenager. Using music as an escape from a troubled household in her native Barbados, Rihanna relied on singing and even formed a group with two classmates for a brief time when she was 15. The trio was fortunate enough to secure an audition with visiting music producer, Evan Rogers, though it was only Rihanna who caught his eye. The chance meeting proved to be the difference maker, as Rogers ultimately offered Rihanna the opportunity to come to the U.S. to live with him and his wife and begin recording music.
Under Rogers' guidance for roughly two years, Rihanna prepped and was eventually ready to audition for Jay-Z at Def Jam Records. Despite having to overcome some serious nerves, she nailed the tryout and was signed on almost immediately. Not long after, Rihanna unleashed her first single, "Pon de Replay," off her debut album, "Music of the Sun," both of which were met with success on the charts, somewhat foreshadowing the years to come for nearly every one of her subsequent releases.
Rise to the Top
Before her 21st birthday, major accolades had already started flowing in for Rihanna, and have not stopped since. In addition to a steady supply of GRAMMYs, Billboard Music Awards, and the like, the singer has kept a firm hold on the industry in regards to digital sales. In January 2012, Nielsen SoundScan named her the top-selling digital artist ever, which at the time amounted to nearly 48 million digital downloads since 2005. Not surprisingly, her staggering reach expands into social media as well, which as of June 4 has resulted in more than 29 million Twitter followers and upwards of 71 million Facebook “likes."
7 in 7
By the conclusion of 2012, Rihanna had released seven albums in as many years, which have yielded a slew of top-10 hits and multi-Platinum tracks including "Diamonds," "S&M," "What's My Name?" "Rude Boy," and "Disturbia," among others. Her 2012 release, “Unapologetic,” became her sixth album to go Platinum and was the first of hers to hit No. 1 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200.
Although Rihanna is regarded as one of the “princesses of pop and R&B,” her music is often also infused with reggae influences from her native Barbados.
Rihanna has been dominating the airwaves since she was a teen, and her hundreds of awards and nominations certainly prove that. Check out some of her notable wins below.