Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, and raised in Bridgetown, she was discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers in her home country in 2003. Throughout 2004, she recorded demo tapes under the direction of Rogers and signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for its then-president, rapper and hip hop producer Jay-Z. In 2005, Rihanna rose to fame with the release of her debut studio album Music of the Sun as well as its follow-up A Girl like Me (2006). Both albums peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard 200 and respectively produced the successful singles “Pon de Replay”, “SOS” and “Unfaithful”.
Recognized as a pop icon, Rihanna is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with 280 million records sold worldwide. Rihanna is the youngest solo artist to earn fourteen number-one singles and has a total of thirty one top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Among numerous awards and accolades, Rihanna has won nine Grammy Awards, thirteen American Music Awards and twelve Billboard Music Awards. She currently holds six Guinness World Records. Furthermore, she was awarded with the inaugural American Music Award for Icon in 2013 and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2016. Rihanna received the Fashion Icon lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2014. In 2012, Forbes ranked her the fourth most powerful celebrity, while Time included her on the annual list of the most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2018. Rihanna was named Harvard University’s “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Harvard Foundation in early 2017.
She was appointed as an Ambassador on behalf of the government of Barbados in 2018, with her duties involving the promotion of education, tourism and investment.