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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."
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"We made a little Godfather joke," Jay-Z remembered. "We said the only way she could leave was through the window."
Only eight months later, in August 2005, Rihanna released her first single, "Pon de Replay," a reggae-influenced club track that skyrocketed to No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart and announced Rihanna as the next big up-and-coming pop star. Her first album, Music of the Sun, released later that month,
reached No. 10 on the Billboard albums chart and also featured the single "If It's Lovin' That You Want." Rihanna released her second album, A Girl Like Me, the next year, spawning two major hits in "Unfaithful" and "SOS," Rihanna's first No. 1 single.
In 2007, Rihanna effected a transformation from cute teen pop princess to fully fledged superstar and sex symbol with her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, fueled by its smash hit lead single "Umbrella," featuring Jay-Z. "It shows such growth for her as an artist," Jay-Z said about the track. "If you listen to the lyrics to that song, you know the depth and how far she's come."
"Umbrella" topped the Billboard singles chart and earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The album reached No. 2 on the charts and also featured the singles "Don't Stop the Music" and "Shut Up and Drive." Good Girl Gone Bad: The Remixes, released the following year, scored two new further hits in "Disturbia" and "Take a Bow."
Continuing her onslaught of hit albums, Rihanna released Rated R in 2009 with the singles "Hard" and "Rude Boy." Her 2010 album, Loud, was once again an enormous commercial and critical success behind the songs "What's My Name," "Only Girl (In the World)" and "S&M." Besides her own laundry list of hit songs, Rihanna is also featured on a host of mega hits by other artists, including Jay-Z's "Run this Town," Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" and Kanye West's "All of the Lights."
In 2011, Rihanna released her sixth studio album: Talk That Talk. The album included the song "We Found Love," which features DJ Calvin Harris and won the 2013 Grammy Award for best short form music video.
Rihanna has also made headlines in her personal life, although often for circumstances beyond her control. Rihanna first made gossip column headlines in 2006 when rumors swirled that she was having an affair with her mentor, Jay-Z. Both she and Jay-Z have always dismissed such allegations as ridiculous. "At first I was like, 'Ha ha, it's funny,'" Rihanna said. "Now I just ignore it and I'm numb to it. You cannot stop people from saying what they want to say."
In 2009, Rihanna again made headlines again, becoming the center of a media firestorm after a domestic violence incident in which her then-boyfriend Chris Brown assaulted her before an awards show. The incident sparked a huge public outpouring of support for Rihanna, and she has since become a spokesperson against domestic violence. "This happened to me," she said in an interview with Diane Sawyer.
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Pop star Rihanna and rising star Chris Brown seemed like a golden couple. It all fell apart in February 2008, when Brown turned himself in for domestic violence charges. Leaked photos of a badly beaten Rihanna did major damage to Brown's career, and the relationship was over.
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