AKA Robyn Rihanna Fenty
Race or Ethnicity: Multiracial
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Umbrella
The eldest child of a Barbadian father and a Guyanese mother, Robyn Rihanna Fenty spent a quiet, average childhood in the Parish of St. Michael on the small Carribean island of Barbados. Although her vocal abilities became apparent at an early age, for the first decade-and-a-half of Rihanna’s life her musical experience did not extend beyond singing for her own enjoyment (or, on occasion, with friends at school). In her early teens she made her first attempts at public performance, beginning with her entry in the Miss Combermere Beauty Pageant (which she won) and followed by a rendition of Mariah Carey‘s Hero as part of the Colours of Combermere School talent show (which she also won).
A dramatic change in Rihanna’s life took place at the end of 2003, set in motion by a chance introduction to New York-based producer Evan Rogers. Vacationing on the island at the time with his Barbadan-born wife, Rogers was introduced to the young singer by a mutual friend; after an impromptu demonstration of her vocal skills, he immediately recognized her potential and arranged a recording session back in the States the following spring with his production/writing partner Carl Sturken. A 12-song demo tape was compiled over the next several months, and in January of 2005 Rihanna relocated to New York City to more effectively pursue whatever opportunities presented themselves. The demo recordings quickly generated a lot of interest — the most enthusiastic response being from Def Jam CEO Jay-Z, who arranged a meeting with the then-17-year-old in February and signed her on the spot.
Rihanna’s debut single Pon De Replay was issued in the summer of 2005, rapidly climbing to the #2 position on both the US and UK mainstream charts. Her first album Music of the Sun arrived at #10 a month later, with a subsequent promotional tour in support of Gwen Stefani helping to push it towards gold status. Filming for her first acting role (albeit as herself) in the straight-to-video cheerleading flick Bring It On: All or Nothing was undertaken between sessions for her second album A Girl Like Me (2006), which arrived a mere 8 months after the first. This second collection’s lead single S.O.S. (Rescue Me) (featuring a sample from Soft Cell‘s Tainted Love) repeated Pon De Replay‘s rapid journey up to the #2 slot, while the album itself surpassed it’s successor by reaching #5 and almost doubling it’s sales figures. A second single, Unfaithful, found it’s way to #6 upon it’s release in July, providing the singer with her third top 10 song less than a year after her arrival on the music scene.
In the midst of the considerable developments taking place in her career, the singer moved out of New York and took up residence at the Connecticut home of Rogers and his wife. Numerous television and sporting event appearances successfully maintained her public exposure throughout 2005 and 2006, including performances at both the 2005 US Lawn Tennis Open Championships and the 2005 NFL launch game, and a guest appearance on the long-running soap opera All My Children in July of 2006.
Father: Ronald Fenty (store supervisor)
Mother: Monica (accountant)
Boyfriend: Chris Brown (singer, together 2008-09)
Boyfriend: Drake (rapper, together 2009)
Boyfriend: Matt Kemp (MLB player, together 2009-10)
High School: Combermere High School, Waterford, St. Michael (2004)