Rock Star: Rihanna

Genuine beauty and music icon Rihanna is much more than what meets the eye. Robyn Rihanna Fenty is magical, musical and monumental to our culture and she has the numbers to prove it. From being the first Black woman to front a Dior campaign to scoring the title of top-selling digital artist of all time after selling 54 million albums and 210 million digital tracks worldwide, Rihanna is really the one to beat!

Published April 14th

1988

Stage One
Stage One

Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born Saint Michael Parish, Barbados, to her lovely mother Monica Braithwaite and father Ronald Fenty on February 20, 1988. By 2003, Rihanna formed a musical trio with two of her classmates and began forming the building blocks of her singing career. She was later discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers, who later introduced her to rapper Jay Z (who was then recently appointed to CEO of Def Jam) and music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid.

2005

Pon De Replay
Pon De Replay

Rihanna first hit the scene 11 years ago with her debut single “Pon De Replay.” Boasting that island flare that she grew up with, the song became a commercial success, peaking at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

2005

Music of the Sun
Music of the Sun

Music of the Sun introduced Rihanna to the world as an official artist on the Def Jam roster. The album, which spawned fan favorites like “Pon De Replay” and “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want,” debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200.

2006

A Girl Like Me
A Girl Like Me

A year after the release of her debut LP, Rihanna dropped her sophomore album with a more refined tone. The album peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the U.S. and spawned hits like “SOS” and “Unfaithful.”

2006

Rihanna: Live in Concert Tour
Rihanna: Live in Concert Tour

The singer embarked on her very first headlining tour following the release of A Girl Like Me. The tour had 27 dates and ran through her first two albums in their entirety.

2007

Good Girl Gone Bad
Good Girl Gone Bad

Never one to waste time with releasing new music, Rihanna released her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad, in 2007. This time, she changed her sound and her look. This album pushed her to major pop success as she worked with the likes of Timbaland, will.i.am and Sean Garrett. The album produced hits like “Umbrella,” “Shut Up and Drive” and “Rehab.” It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

2007

Good Girl Gone Bad Tour
Good Girl Gone Bad Tour

This was Rihanna’s first major world tour and her second tour overall. It featured eight legs with 80 total shows.

2008

Grammys
Grammys

Rihanna won her first Grammy Award in 2008 for “Umbrella” alongside Jay Z in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category.

2009

Rated R
Rated R

Shortly after the highly publicized domestic violence incident involving her and her then-boyfriend Chris Brown, Rihanna released the heavily emo album Rated R. It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and spawned hits like “Rude Boy” and “Hard.”

2010

Loud
Loud

Changing her sound and look once again, Rihanna released the uptempo and cheerful album Loud in 2010, supported by a fresh new bright red ‘do. The album, which spawned hits like “Only Girl (In the World)" and “What’s My Name? — which shot to No. 1 on the singles chart — it debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

2011

Talk That Talk
Talk That Talk

Less than a year later, the singer released Talk That Talk, which also debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Its lead single, “We Found Love,” topped the charts in 27 countries worldwide, including the U.S.

2012

Unapologetic
Unapologetic

Rihanna scored her first No. 1 album in 2012 with her seventh LP, Unapologetic. Its lead single “Diamonds” was also a major success, reaching No. 1 in more than 20 countries, including the U.S.

2013

Star-Studded Icon
Star-Studded Icon

Rihanna won the first-ever AMA Icon Award, which was presented to her after her star-studded "Diamonds" performance. She's just oozing black-girl radiance at this point!

2014

Fashionista
Fashionista

It's no secret that Rihanna's style is ever-changing and eye-catching. That's why it came as no surprise when Rihanna was honored as the recipient of the 2014 CFDA Fashion Icon Award.

2015

Secret Garden of Dior
Secret Garden of Dior

Rihanna then became the first black woman to front a Dior campaign and also star in its Secret Garden film. Rihanna joined the ranks of actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Marion Cotillard and Natalie Portman, who are all current faces of the Dior collection as well.

2015

Coming Home
Coming Home

After taking a bit of a break from music for a couple years, Rihanna returned, lending her talents to the animation world. She voiced the character of Tip in the animated children’s film Home. Though this wasn’t her first stab at acting, it was her first lead role and major success in the industry.

2016

Put in Work
Put in Work

Rihanna released her eighth studio album ANTI exclusively through the streaming service Tidal in January 2016. The album’s lead single “Work” eventually reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after a few weeks of release. Receiving some mixed reviews, the album debuted at No. 27 on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S. due to its exclusive streaming availability. The following week, after it was made available for purchase at other retailers, the album topped the chart.

2016

Hard Work
Hard Work

Despite sales, Rihanna's eighth studio album ANTI achieved platinum certification by the RIAA, selling at least one million copies via Samsung's free download.

2016

FENTY x Puma
FENTY x Puma

Rihanna, who was named as the creative director of Puma's womenswear, debuted her ready-to-wear collection Fenty x Puma, which was inspired, simply, by what moves her and what fits her attitude.

2016

Rock Star
Rock Star

Rihanna cannot be stopped. She's a force on the music front, in the fashion industry and across the board. We are honored to celebrate her work and accomplishments by awarding her with the Black Girls Rock! Rock Star Award.