Robyn Rihanna Fenty (/riˈænə/ ree-AN-ə; born February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, businesswoman, fashion designer, actress, and philanthropist. She is known for embracing various musical styles and reinventing her image throughout her career.
Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the US in 2005, when she signed with Def Jam Recordings to pursue a music career. Rihanna earned significant recognition following the release of her first two studio albums Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl like Me (2006), both of which were influenced by Caribbean music and peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard 200 chart. Rihanna’s third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), incorporated more elements of dance-pop and catapulted her to greater stardom, establishing her status as a sex symbol and a leading figure in the music industry. Its international chart-topping single “Umbrella” earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
Rihanna extended her fusion of pop, dance and R&B on her next four studio albums, Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011) and the Grammy Award-winning Unapologetic (2012). All four releases incorporated experimentation of various musical styles and consolidated Rihanna’s international chart success, Unapologetic being her first number-one album in the US. The records spawned a string of chart-topping singles, including “Rude Boy”, “Only Girl (In the World)”, “What’s My Name?”, “S&M”, “We Found Love”, “Diamonds” and “Stay”. Her eighth studio album, Anti (2016), showcased her control over artistic creativity after her departure from Def Jam. It became her second US number-one album and featured the chart-topping single “Work”. Besides solo materials, Rihanna is a prolific featured artist, having collaborated with such musicians as Drake, Eminem and Calvin Harris to similar success.
Having sold over 250 million records, Rihanna is one of the world’s best-selling music artists. She has earned 14 number-one singles and 31 top-ten singles in the US, and 30 top-ten entries in the UK. Her accolades include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and six Guinness World Records. Forbes ranked her among the top ten highest-paid celebrities in 2012 and 2014, and Time named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world twice (2012 and 2018). Alongside a successful music career, Rihanna is well known for her involvement in humanitarian causes, entrepreneurial ventures and the fashion industry. She is the founder of nonprofit organization Clara Lionel Foundation, cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty, and fashion house Fenty under LVMH. In 2018, the Government of Barbados appointed her as an ambassador with duties promoting education, tourism and investment.
2015–2017: Standalone releases, Home soundtrack and Anti
A year after Rihanna began working on her eighth studio album, the single “FourFiveSeconds” was released, which featured Rihanna paired up with Kanye West and Paul McCartney. Two further singles followed its release: “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “American Oxygen”; neither made the final track listing for Rihanna’s eighth studio album. During the creation of the album, Rihanna ventured into other endeavours and appeared in the voice role of Tip in the animated feature film Home alongside Jim Parsons and Jennifer Lopez, the film was based on The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. Rihanna also released a concept album soundtrack for the film.
In late 2015, Rihanna inked a $25 million contract with Samsung that would see her promoting Samsung’s Galaxy line of products whilst Samsung would sponsor the release of her eighth studio album and its supporting tour. The Anti World Tour was announced in November 2015 and began in March 2016, with Travis Scott supporting in North America and Big Sean supporting at selected European dates. The Weeknd had also initially planned to support at certain European sites, but he backed out citing “unforeseen changes in upcoming projects”. On January 28, 2016, Rihanna released her eighth studio album, Anti, exclusively through streaming service Tidal. The album peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, becoming Rihanna’s second No. 1 and eighth top 10 album on the chart. The album was supported by the release of four singles, including the lead single “Work”, featuring Drake, which topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Further Platinum-certified singles “Needed Me” and “Love on the Brain” both peaked inside the top 10 of the U.S. Hot 100.
In 2016, Rihanna was featured on several singles. The first collaboration single was Kanye West’s “Famous”, where Rihanna provided uncredited guest vocals. She was then officially featured on Calvin Harris’ “This Is What You Came For”, which was a success. Rihanna was also featured on Drake’s “Too Good” and on Mike Will Made It’s “Nothing Is Promised”. In June 2016, Rihanna released “Sledgehammer”, a single from the Star Trek Beyond movie soundtrack. On August 28, 2016, Rihanna was honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards after performing various medleys of her hit songs.
Rihanna released several collaborations in 2017. First she was the featured part in Future’s “Selfish”, the lead single from the rapper’s sixth studio album, Hndrxx. Summer 2017 saw the release of Rihanna’s collaborations with record producer DJ Khaled, “Wild Thoughts”, which also featured Bryson Tiller and was a worldwide success, and Kendrick Lamar’s single, “Loyalty”, which earned Rihanna her ninth Grammy Award at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. In November 2017, Rihanna was part of N.E.R.D’s comeback single “Lemon” from the band’s album No One Ever Really Dies.
2018–present: Upcoming ninth studio album
Rihanna officially revealed that she had begun work on her ninth studio album, just months after releasing Anti. In October 2017, Shakka revealed that he was working with Rihanna on her “absolutely insane” album. In December 2018, Rihanna confirmed that the album will be released in 2019. In May 2019, Rihanna confirmed that the album is a reggae project.