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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
This was Rihanna’s first major world tour and her second tour overall. It featured eight legs with 80 total shows.
Rihanna won her first Grammy Award in 2008 for “Umbrella” alongside Jay Z in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.