Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), better known as simply Rihanna, is a Barbadian recording artist. Born inSaint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a recording career under the guidance of record producer Evan Rogers. She subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for then-label head Jay-Z.
In 2005, Rihanna released her debut studio album, Music of the Sun, which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart and features the Billboard Hot 100 hit single "Pon de Replay." Less than a year later, she released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006), which peaked within the top five of the Billboard albums chart, and produced her first Hot 100 number one single, "SOS". Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), spawned four chart-topping singles "Umbrella", "Take a Bow", "Disturbia" and "Don't Stop the Music", and was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella," which features Jay-Z. Her fourth studio album Rated R, released in November 2009, produced the top 10 singles "Russian Roulette", "Hard" and "Rude Boy", which achieved the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Loud (2010), her fifth studio album, contains the number-one hits "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?" and "S&M" "We Found Love" was released in September 2011 as the lead single from her sixth studio album and has topped the charts in over ten countries. Talk That Talk, Rihanna's sixth album, is set to be released in November 2011.
Rihanna has sold more than 20 million albums and 60 million singles which makes her one of the best selling artists of all time. She is the youngest artist in Billboardcharts history to achieve eleven number-one singles on the Hot 100. As of March 2010, Rihanna has sold approximately 7.3 million album units and over 33.7 million digital singles in the United States. Billboard named Rihanna the Digital Songs Artist of the 2000s decade, and ranked her as the 17th Artist of the 2000s decade. She has received several accolades, including the 2007 World Music Awards for World's Best-Selling Pop Female Artist and Female Entertainer of the Year, and the 2011 Brit Award for Best International Female Solo Artist. She has also amassed a total of four Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, and eighteenBillboard Music Awards. Rihanna has also been appointed the official ambassador of youth and culture for Barbados.
Rihanna has named Madonna as her idol and biggest influence, and said she wants to be the "black Madonna". She said: "I think that Madonna was a great inspiration for me, especially on my earlier work. If I had to examine her evolution through time, I think she reinvented her clothing style and music with success every single time. And at the same time remained a real force in entertainment in the whole world." Rihanna also cited Mariah Carey as her influence and idol. She said "I looked up to [Mariah] a lot and I still do. I admire her as an artist, and to [compete with her] was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life. Of Janet Jackson, Rihanna has commented that "[s]he was one of the first female pop icons that I could relate to ... She was so vibrant, she had so much energy. She still has power. I’ve seen her on stage, and she can stand there for 20 minutes and have the whole arena scream at her. You have to love Janet." Beyoncé has been named as a major influence, citing that she was inspired to start her career after watching Knowles on television as part of a Destiny's Child performance. Her other musical influences include Bob Marley, (for whom she built a shrine in her Los Angeles home) Alicia Keys Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Celine Dion, Brandy and Gwen Stefani. Her friend and former Island Def Jam record label artist Fefe Dobson was someone that she admired and looked up to, having a fellow artist writing, singing, and performing the music she truly loves.
Rihanna's music contains strong influences of Caribbean music which include reggae and dancehall. The video for "Rude Boy" was inspired by her Caribbean roots. In an interview, she stated that while growing up in Barbados she grew up listening to reggae music and when she came to the United States she was exposed to many different types of music. During the Good Girl Gone Bad Tour, she did a cover to "Is This Love" which paid tribute to Marley; she would later do a cover song to Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Redemption Song". Rihanna commented that Marilyn Monroe and vintage clothing served for visual inspiration for the music video "Hate That I Love You" and "Rehab"; in contrast, the "dark, creepy" scenes of "Disturbia" have drawn comparison to Michael Jackson's Thriller. The music video ranked number five on the "Top Five Most Paranoid Music Videos" published by MTV Buzzworthy. Jon Bream of the Star Tribune commented "[i]n the tradition of Madonna and Janet Jackson, Rihanna has become the video vixen of the '00s ... Rihanna has perfected the pout, the long-legged strut and trend-setting hairdos that keep women and men alike checking her out on YouTube." George Epaminondas of InStyleconsiders Rihanna's music videos to be "cinematic" due to her "blend of lush island rhythms and swinging pop and ... mischievous sensuality."