Since the early aughts, Rihanna has made a name for herself in not only the music industry but also the worlds of movies, fashion, beauty and beyond.
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados in 1988, the singer was discovered by Jay-Z in 2005 after sending a demo of “Pon de Replay” to Def Jam Records. After signing with the label, she released the song as her debut single later that year followed by her first album, Music of the Sun.
Rihanna’s success continued in 2006 with her sophomore record, A Girl Like Me, but she did not become a household name until the release of her hit “Umbrella” the following year. She won her first Grammy Award in 2008 for the tune, which featured her mentor Jay-Z and was featured on her album Good Girl Gone Bad.
After her tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown ended in 2009 following his arrest for physically assaulting her, Rihanna transformed her sound from pop to a blend of hip-hop and rock on her fourth disc, Rated R. Her music continued to evolve as she tackled bubblegum pop on 2010’s Loud, EDM on 2012’s Unapologetic and contemporary R&B on 2016’s Anti.
In the midst of her busy music career, Rihanna achieved mogul status with several lucrative business ventures. She became a co-owner of Jay-Z’s streaming service, Tidal, in 2015 before starting her own cosmetics, lingerie and skincare companies: Fenty Beauty in 2017, Savage X Fenty in 2018 and Fenty Skin in 2020. She also launched a fashion house, Fenty, under the luxury group LVMH in 2019.
On top of that, Rihanna has starred in a number of movies and TV shows. She made her big-screen debut in the 2012 action film Battleship and voiced a character in the 2015 DreamWorks Animation flick Home. After a recurring role in the final season of Bates Motel, she starred in 2017’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and 2018’s Ocean’s 8.
“I don’t leave things hanging,” she told Interview magazine in 2019 while discussing her busy schedule. “I will work all day in a meeting, leave that meeting at 1 or 2 a.m., and then come home with a tiny group of staff and work until 5, 7 a.m. … I used to be in the studio, only the studio, for three months straight, and an album would come out. Now, it’s like a carousel. I do fashion one day, lingerie the next, beauty the next, then music the next. It’s like having a bunch of kids and you need to take care of them all.”
Scroll down to see photos of Rihanna through the years!