Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born February 20, 1988 and is a Barbadian-American singer, songwriter, businesswoman, actress and diplomat. Regarded as a pop icon and one of the most influential contemporary recording artists, Rihanna is known for embracing versatile musical styles and reinventing her image throughout her career.
She is the daughter of accountant Monica (née Braithwaite) and warehouse supervisor Ronald Fenty. She is of Afro-Barbadian, Afro-Guyanese, and Irish descent. Rihanna has two brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty, and two half-sisters and a half-brother from her father’s side, each born to different mothers from his previous relationships. She grew up in a three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown and sold clothes with her father in a stall on the street. Her childhood was deeply affected by her father’s alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction, which contributed to her parents’ strained marriage.
As a child, she went through a lot of CT scans for the excruciating headaches she suffered: the doctors even thought it was a tumor, because it was very intense. By the time she was 14, her parents had divorced and her health began to improve.
She grew up listening to reggae music.
She attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and Combermere High School. Rihanna was an army cadet in a sub-military programme. Although she initially wanted to graduate from high school, she chose to pursue a musical career instead.
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. She earned significant recognition following the release of her first two studio albums, both of which were influenced by Caribbean music and peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard 200 chart.
Early in her career, Rihanna made clear her interest in fashion and desire to work in the clothing design industry. In November 2011, Rihanna announced her first fashion venture with Armani. In February 2013, Rihanna presented her first women’s spring fashion collection at London Fashion Week for British street fashion brand River Island, collaborating with her personal stylist Adam Selman. They published two more collections for the brand, a summer edition released on May 25, 2013 and an autumn edition released on September 10, 2013.The fourth and last collection for River Island, the winter edition was released on November 7, 2013.
Rihanna went on to collaborate with numerous fashion houses including Dior, Stance and Manolo Blahnik. In March 2015, it was announced that Rihanna had been chosen as the new face of Dior; this makes her the first black woman to be the face of Dior.
In December 2014, it was confirmed that Rihanna would become the creative director of the fashion sportswear Puma, overseeing the brand’s women’s line which will include collaborations in apparel and footwear. In the fall of 2015, Rihanna released her first trainer with Puma, and the sneaker sold out online on the first 3 hours of its pre-sale launch. Over the next two years, Rihanna released various other footwear in different colorways and styles, which were all met positively by both critics and buyers. 2016 saw Rihanna debut her first clothing line in collaboration with Puma at New York Fashion Week; the collection was met with rave reviews from fashion critics. In the spring of that year, Rihanna debuted her second collection at Paris Fashion Week and was met with critical acclaim. Vogue magazine praised the collection and Rihanna. In Autumn 2017, Rihanna x Puma returned to New York, for the debut of their autumn collection, like previous lines the collection was met with positive reviews.
On June 2, 2014, Rihanna received the Fashion Icon Award at the 2014 Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards at the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
She presented her Savage X Fenty lingerie line in the New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2018.
In 2006, she created her Believe Foundation to help terminally ill children. In 2007, Rihanna was named as one of the Cartier Love Charity Bracelet Ambassadors, with each celebrity representing a different global charity. To help raise awareness and combat HIV/AIDS, Rihanna and other public figures designed clothing for the February 2008 H&M Fashion Against AIDS line. In 2008, Rihanna performed a series of charity concerts entitled A Girl’s Night Out to benefit the Believe Foundation. The concerts were made free for the public. Money from sponsors and advertisers were to be donated to provide medical supplies, school supplies and toys to children in need. In September 2008, Rihanna contributed to the song Just Stand Up! with fifteen other female artists, who shared the stage to perform the song live on September 5, 2008, during the Stand Up to Cancer television special. The proceeds from the single were given to the fundraiser. The television special helped raise $100 million for cancer research.
Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012, in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Current programs include the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, and education programs. The CLF hosts an annual Diamond Ball charity fundraiser event. The inaugural event in 2014 raised over $2 million, and the second raised over $3 million. On February 12, 2012, Rihanna performed a benefit show at the House of Blues to raise money for the Children’s Orthopaedic Center and the Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program at Children’s Hospital. In November 2012, Rihanna gave $100,000 to food bank donation for Hurricane Sandy, On January 3, 2014 Rihanna was part of the MAC Viva Glam campaign, which benefits women, men, and children living with HIV/AIDS.
In February 2017, Rihanna was named Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation. During Rihanna’s third annual Diamond Ball, the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, praised Rihanna’s work.
During her performance at the NCAA March Madness Music Festival, Rihanna expressed her disagreement with Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allows companies and individuals to use their religious beliefs as protection, in case of being accused of discrimination against LGBT people. Rihanna along with numerous other high-profile celebrities featured in an online video titled 23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black in America. The video was released in partnership with the We Are Here Movement and called for action against police brutality.
In January 2017, Rihanna participated in the 2017 Women’s March, which took place in New York among protests the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Following the announcement of Trump’s Executive Order 13769 banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States, Rihanna expressed disgust for the order and condemned the US President’s act.
On September 21, 2018, Rihanna was appointed by the government of Barbados to be an Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, with special duties of promoting education, tourism and investment for the island.