Published: 19th March 2012
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From small-time beauty pageants and talent contests to ruling the hearts of millions worldwide, Rihanna’s rise to super-stardom and glory is as thrilling as it is surreal. Born on the remote island of Saint Michael, Barbados, she could never have foreseen the kind of success that would later befall on her. That stardom came courtesy of a fateful meeting with American record producer Evan Rogers while he was vacationing in Barbados with his wife. He offered her a chance to record with him and it was these demos that sparked the interest of the newly appointed Def Jam President Jay-Z. This led to an audition, and Rihanna both received and accepted an on-the-spot offer to sign with the label. Her debut album ‘Music of the Sun’ went gold while her debut single, ‘Pon de Replay‘ peaked at number two on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.

Her second album ‘A Girl like me’ went platinum with the lead single ‘SOS’ peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In June 2007, she released her third album Good Girl Gone Bad which marked the change of direction in her music. With this album, Rihanna’s songs transformed into their current dance-pop style and she became the diva she was promising to be. She even adopted a more sexual image while recording the album, eventually dying her hair black and cutting it short. The song ‘Umbrella’ became the longest-running chart topper of the 2000's decade, and remains the longest-running number one since its release in 2007. Other singles from the album ‘Shut Up and Drive‘, and ‘Hate That I Love You‘, ‘Don't Stop The Music‘ were similarly successful. The Rihanna Music Video for ‘Umbrella won the award for 'Monster Single of the Year' and 'Video of the Year' at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. In 2008, ‘Umbrella’ earned Rihanna and Jay-Z a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration along with nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It stayed at number one in the United Kingdom for 10 weeks, the longest time spent by a female and in the 21st century, on this chart.

Her next albums ‘Rated R’ went platinum while ‘Loud’ sold 207,000 copies in its first week, making it the biggest opening week sales of her career to date. By 2012, Rihanna had sold 47,571,000 million singles and albums as of 2011, making her the best-selling digital artist of all time in the United States. Her song ‘All of the Lights’ was nominated for Song of the Year, 'Best Rap Song', and 'Best Rap/Sung Collaboration' at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, eventually winning the latter two awards.

As of now, Rihanna has won five American Music Awards, 18 Billboard Music Awards, two BRIT Awards and six Grammy Awards. She has achieved a total of eleven number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the youngest solo artist to do so and has sold more than 25 million albums and 60 million singles worldwide, which makes her one of the best selling artists of all time. Rihanna music videos range from being cinematic to sensual to sometimes downright creepy. It is safe to say that this young diva has many, many more talents up her sleeves.

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About the Author:

James Griffith is a freelance writer from London specialising in writing hiphop r&b musicand uk grime music articles. Over the years he has developed an extensive knowledge of urban music and urban music artists and is considered one of the leading authorities on this subject. With a passion for Hip hop and R&B music since childhood, James Griffith brings great knowledge and a great understanding of this exciting music genre and his articles are both informative and entertaining too.

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