For someone who had such an unhappy and disturbed childhood Robyn Rihanna Fenty has grown up to be a very successful business woman, and one of the most successful recording artists in the world.
Famed for her "Umbrella" song, she began singing at the age of 7-years-old. She did not have a normal or happy home, as her father was addicted to crack cocaine, and her parents were always rowing. They finally separated when she was 14-years-old and she could then begin her life.
Using just her second name, she formed a girl band when she was 15 with two friends from Combermere School. The following year she won the Miss Combermere Beauty Pageant, and she was also an army cadet in a sub-military programme that trained with the Military in Barbados.
Her life changed forever in 2003 when record producer Evan Rogers and his wife came on holiday to Barbados. Friends introduced Rihanna and her band-mates to Rogers and he invited them to audition for him. He said afterwards, "When Rihanna walked into the room, the other girls didn't exist."
Evans wanted her to pursue a recording career, and he persuaded her mother to bring her to his home in Stamford, Connecticut. The two of them travelled between Barbados and Stamford regularly for a year until Rihanna was 16, then she moved to America to stay with Rogers and his wife.
He became her mentor and she signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings under the Jay-Z label. Her debut album "Music of the Sun" was released in 2005 and reached the Top 10 Billboard 200 chart. The album featured the Hot 100 single Pon de Replay.
Since first appearing on the chart on June 11th 2005 Rihanna has achieved eight number 1 singles, which is the most achieved by any artist.
Her private life was just as unhappy as her childhood in early 2009. She was scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards on February 8th but the performance was cancelled at the last minute without explanation.
It was not until afterwards her fans discovered she had been the victim of domestic violence. Her boyfriend at the time, Chris Brown, punched her in the face which resulted in her having to go to hospital. It later emerged this was not the first time he had beaten her up.
Brown was arrested and on March 5th he was charged with assault and making criminal threats. On June 22nd 2009 Brown pleaded guilty to the assault and in exchange for his plea he was ordered to stay 50 yards away from the singer at all times, unless it was at a public event, when the distance was reduced to 10 yards.
Shortly afterwards Rihanna met Los Angeles Dodgers starting outfielder Matt Kemp, and the couple have been inseparable ever since. In 2010 she said after her friend Katy Perry's wedding to Russell Brand she really wanted Kemp to propose to her.
Rihanna is extremely loyal and generous to her friends and she gave Katy and Russell matching gold bracelets engraved with their initials and the date of the wedding. Because she was unable to attend the wedding in India on October 23rd due to promoting her new album "Loud," she has paid for the new Mr and Mrs Brand to travel 1st class to Tokyo and stay for four nights in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
She has started up her own company, Rihanna Entertainment to merge all her businesses into one. These include music, film, fragrances, fashion and book ventures. She has also created the "Believe Foundation" to help terminally ill children. She said when she was young she watched the television and saw all the children suffering. She swore that when she grew up she was going to help others in that situation.
Rihanna was honoured by the Prime Minister of Barbados at a concert on February 20th 2008 when she received a lot of gifts, the day was deemed "Rihanna Day," all over the island, and she is one of Barbados's Honorary Cultural Ambassadors.
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