Best Known For
International R&B star Rihanna released her first album in 2005 and is known for such hits as "Umbrella," "Pon de Replay," "SOS" and "Disturbia."
Rihanna - Mini Biography (3:04)
Beyonce - Mini Biography (3:50)
Jay-Z - Mini Biography (3:44)
Chris Brown - Mini Biography (2:40)
The youngest artist to score 12 number one singles in the US, Rihanna signed with Def Jam records at the age of 16. Since then, she's become an international sensation with hit songs such as "Umbrella," "We Found Love," and "Diamonds."
Beyonce Knowles catapulted to fame with Destiny's Child and went on to release Grammy award-winning solo albums and a film career with her star turn in "Dreamgirls." She married hip-hop artist Jay-Z in 2008.
Hip-hop artist Jay-Z was born in Brooklyn and began freestyling at an early age. In addition to his musical talents, he's one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.
Pop singer Chris Brown was best known for his performances and No. 1 songs before his 2009 assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna. He has since released several hit songs and remained in the public eye for controversial reasons.
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Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, on February 20, 1988 in Barbados, Rihanna signed with Def Jam records at age 16 and released her first album, which sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, in 2005. She went on to release more albums and hit songs, including "Unfaithful," "Disturbia" and "Umbrella." Rihanna has also won multiple awards including Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards and Billboard awards.
"When the whole worlds turning left, it's when I'm going right. I need someone to let me be just who I am inside."
"I believe in second chances, I just don't believe everyone deserves them."
"Love isn't complicated—people are."
"I'm rebellious through my music, through my fashion, tattoos and my hair."
"I have been conservative in my love life."
"Boys will be boys!!! 'Cause they can't be men!"
"People think because we're young, we aren't complex but that's not true. We deal with life and love and broken hearts in the same way a woman a few years older might."
"I could never identify with that word, 'weak.' I couldn't have come out of this if I was weak. No way."
"After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I'd rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it."
"I decided it was more important for me to be happy, and I wasn't going to let anyone's opinion get in the way of that. Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake."
Singer Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in St. Michael Parish on the Caribbean island of Barbados. She is the eldest of three children born to Monica Fenty, an accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor. Rihanna's childhood was marred by her father's struggles with addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine and her parents' marital problems—they divorced when she was 14 years old.
However, since that time, Rihanna's father has managed to conquer his addictions and the pair are now very close. "Now my dad is like the coolest person on the planet," Rihanna says. "He doesn't smother me. He lets me live my life. And he's been like that a lot, even when I was younger. He would watch me making a mistake and he wouldn't stop me. My dad, he lets me make it and then I learn."
Rihanna also struggled with crippling headaches for several years during her childhood, a condition she attempted to hide from her friends and classmates so that they would not think she was abnormal. "I never expressed how I felt," she remembers. "I always kept it in. I would go to school ... you would never know there was something wrong with me."
As a teenager, Rihanna turned to singing as a release from her troubles at home. She formed a girl group with two classmates; when they were 15 years old, they scored an audition with music producer Evan Rodgers, who was visiting the island with his Barbadian wife. Rogers was awed by the precociously beautiful and phenomenally talented Rihanna, to the unfortunate detriment of her two friends. "The minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn't exist," he admitted.
Less than a year later, when Rihanna was only 16 years old, she left Barbados to move in with Rogers and his wife in Connecticut and work on recording a demo album. "When I left Barbados, I didn't look back," Rihanna recalled. "I wanted to do what I had to do, even if it meant moving to America."
In January 2005, Rogers landed Rihanna an audition for Def Jam Records and its newly minted president, the legendary rapper Jay-Z. "I was in the lobby just shaking," she recalled. However, once Rihanna opened her voice to sing she regained her composure. "I remember staring into everybody's eyes in the room while I was singing, and at that point, I was fearless," she said. "But the minute I stopped singing, I was like, 'oh my God, Jay-Z is sitting right in front of me.'"
The hip-hop icon was every bit as wowed by Rihanna's stunning voice and commanding presence as Rogers had been two years earlier, and he signed her on the spot.
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