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Barbadian singer, songwriter, businesswoman, and philanthropist

Robyn Rihanna Fenty (/riˈænə/ree-AN-ə;[1][n 1] born February 20, )[2] is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, Rihanna was discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers. She was invited by Rogers to visit the United States to record some demo tapes that could be sent to record labels, and in she signed with Def Jam. She soon gained recognition following the release of her first two studio albums, Music of the Sun () and A Girl like Me (), both of which were influenced by Caribbean music and peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard chart.

Rihanna's third album, Good Girl Gone Bad (), incorporated elements of dance-pop, catapulted her to international stardom, and established her status as a sex symbol in the music industry. Its chart-topping single "Umbrella" earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Rihanna continued to mix pop, dance, and R&B genres on her next four albums, Rated R (), Loud (), Talk That Talk (), and the Grammy Award-winning Unapologetic (). All four releases combined various other musical styles and consolidated Rihanna's commercial success, with 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 album, Anti (), showcased a new creative control following her departure from Def Jam. It became her second US number-one album and featured the chart-topping single "Work". Rihanna has released collaborative hit singles with artists such as Drake, Eminem, and Calvin Harris.

With sales of over &#;million records worldwide, Rihanna is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She has earned 14 number-ones 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 and ; as of , she is the wealthiest female musician, with an estimated net worth of $&#;million. Time magazine named her as one of the most influential people in the world in and

Aside from music, Rihanna is known for her involvement in humanitarian causes, entrepreneurial ventures, and the fashion industry. She is the founder of the nonprofit organisation Clara Lionel Foundation, cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty, and fashion house Fenty under LVMH. Rihanna has also ventured into acting, appearing in major roles in Battleship (), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets () and Ocean's 8 (). She was appointed as an ambassador of education, tourism, and investment by the Government of Barbados in

Life and music career

– Early life

Rihanna grew up in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, in Saint Michael, Barbados, the daughter of accountant Monica (née Braithwaite) and warehouse supervisor Ronald Fenty.[3][4] 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.[5][6] 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. Rihanna's father used to physically abuse her mother, and Rihanna would try to get in between them to break up fights.[7]

As a child, Rihanna had many CT scans for the excruciating headaches she suffered, recalling, "The doctors even thought it was a tumor, because it was that intense."[5] By the time she was 14, her parents had divorced, and her health began to improve.[4][8] She grew up listening to reggae music.[5][9] She attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and Combermere School, where she studied alongside future international cricketers Chris Jordan and Carlos Brathwaite.[10][5] Rihanna was an army cadet in a sub-military programme, where the later Barbadian singer-songwriter Shontelle was her drill sergeant.[11] Although she initially wanted to graduate from high school, she chose to pursue a musical career instead.[12]

In , Rihanna formed a musical trio with two of her classmates.[5] She was discovered in her home country of Barbados by American record producer Evan Rogers. Without a name or any material, the girl group managed to land an audition with Rogers who commented, "The minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn't exist."[5] Rihanna went to Rogers's hotel room, where she performed renditions of Destiny's Child's "Emotion" and Mariah Carey's "Hero".[13] Impressed, Rogers scheduled a second meeting with Rihanna's mother present and then invited Rihanna to his hometown in the United States to record some demo tapes that could be sent to record labels.[13] Recordings were intermittent, taking about a year, because she was only able to record during school holidays. "Pon de Replay" and "The Last Time" were two tracks recorded for the demo tape, which were eventually included on her debut album Music of the Sun.[14] That same year, Rihanna was signed to Rogers's and Carl Sturken's production company, Syndicated Rhythm Productions.[13]

– Beginnings and early releases

Rihanna's demo was shipped out to Def Jam Recordings, where Jay Brown, an A&R executive at the record label, was one of the first to hear the demo. Brown played the demo tape for rapper Jay-Z, who had recently been appointed as president and CEO of Def Jam.[15] When Jay-Z first heard the track "Pon de Replay", he felt the song was too big for her.[16] Despite being skeptical, he invited Rihanna to audition for the label. In early , Rihanna auditioned for Def Jam in New York City, where Jay-Z introduced her to music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid.[13][17] At the audition, she sang Whitney Houston's cover of "For the Love of You", as well as the demo tracks "Pon de Replay" and "The Last Time".[13] Jay-Z was absolutely certain about signing her after she performed her future hit single "Pon de Replay".[16] His boss, L.A. Reid, was also impressed with her audition, telling Jay-Z not to let Rihanna leave the building until the contract was signed.[18] Reid left it to Jay-Z and his team to close the deal which resulted in a six-album record deal with Def Jam. She waited in Jay-Z's office until in the morning to get lawyers to draft up a contract because he wanted to prevent her from signing with another label.[16] Rihanna canceled other meetings with record labels and relocated from Barbados to the United States to live with Rogers and his wife.[19]

After signing with Def Jam, Jay-Z and his team did the A&R for Rihanna's debut album and spent the next three months recording and completing her debut album.[18] She worked with different producers to complete her debut studio album, primarily Rogers and his production partner Carl Sturken.[20] With several songs to pick as a lead single, "Pon de Replay" was chosen because it seemed like the best song suited for a summer release.[21] In May , her debut single, "Pon de Replay", was released under her mononym "Rihanna". It charted successfully worldwide, peaking in the top five in fifteen countries, including at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot chart and the UK Singles Chart.[22] The song became a club hit in the United States, peaking at No. 1 on the BillboardDance Club Songs.[23]

Music of the Sun was released in August It debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard and received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over , units.[24] The album sold over 2&#;million copies worldwide. A second single, "If It's Lovin' that You Want", was not as successful as its predecessor, but reached the top 10 in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.[25] Aside from her work in music, Rihanna made her acting debut in a cameo role in the successful straight-to-DVD film Bring It On: All or Nothing, released in August [26]

A month after the release of her debut album, Rihanna began working on her second studio album.[27]A Girl like Me was released in April [28]Rolling Stone felt that "the burning rock guitar" and haunted strings of some of the album's tracks made "A Girl like Me [] likable."[29] The album was a commercial success, charting in the top 10 in 13 countries. The album reached No. 1 in Canada and No. 5 in the United Kingdom and the United States, where it sold , copies in its first week.[24][30] The album became Rihanna's first to be certified Platinum by the RIAA, after selling over 1,, units.[31] Its lead single, "SOS", was an international success, charting in the top five in 11 countries. The song reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot and in Australia, her first to reach this chart position.[32] "Unfaithful", the album's second single, reached the top 10 in 18 countries, including No. 1 in Canada and Switzerland.[33] Two more singles were released from the album: "We Ride" and "Break It Off".[34][35]

– Breakthrough with Good Girl Gone Bad

In early , Rihanna appeared on the single "Roll It" with Jamaican band J-Status and fellow Barbadian singer-songwriter Shontelle. The song appeared on J-Status' debut album The Beginning, released in several European countries only. Around that time, Rihanna had already begun work on her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad.[36] With the help of producers Timbaland, Tricky Stewart and Sean Garrett she embraced a new musical direction through uptempo dance tracks.[37][38] Released in May , the album charted at No. 2 in Australia and the US and topped the charts in multiple countries, including Brazil, Canada, Ireland and the UK.[39] The album received the most positive critical reviews of her first three albums.[40]

The lead single, "Umbrella", topped the charts in 13 countries and remained at No. 1 in the UK for 10 consecutive weeks, the longest-running No. 1 single there since Wet Wet Wet's single "Love Is All Around" spent 15 weeks at the top in [41][42] It was Rihanna's first single to be named one of the best-selling singles worldwide, with sales of over 8&#;million copies.[43][44] The songs "Shut Up and Drive", "Hate That I Love You" (featuring Ne-Yo) and "Don't Stop the Music" were also released as singles, with the latter becoming an international hit. In support of the album, Rihanna began the Good Girl Gone Bad Tour in September , with 80 shows across the US, Canada and Europe.[45] Rihanna was nominated for several Grammy Awards for Good Girl Gone Bad, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella" alongside Jay-Z, her first Grammy Award.[46]

On June 9, , Rihanna released Good Girl Gone Bad Live, her first livelong-form video. The DVD and Blu-ray release featured Rihanna's concert at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom, held on December 6, as part of the Good Girl Gone Bad Tour. The release also contained a special documentary that presented Rihanna discussing her experiences during the tour. By late , Rihanna still remained on the charts with the release of the fifth single from Good Girl Gone Bad, "Rehab", and was named "Diva of the Year" by Entertainment Weekly for her "newfound staying power".[47]Good Girl Gone Bad has sold over &#;million units in the United States alone, receiving a two-times-Platinum certification from the RIAA. It is Rihanna's best-selling album in the country to date.[24][48] The album has sold 9&#;million units worldwide.[49][50]

During the late s, Rihanna experimented further with pop, dubstep and rock music, officially shifting her musical style and image away from the Barbados island girl.[51] Throughout , Rihanna performed on the Glow in the Dark Tour alongside Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and N.E.R.D.[52] Her third studio album's reissue, Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, was released in June with three new songs: "Disturbia", "Take a Bow" and the Maroon 5 duet "If I Never See Your Face Again", plus a Spanglish version of "Hate That I Love You" featuring Spanish pop singer David Bisbal.[53] All four were released as singles and charted highly, reaching peak positions worldwide.[54][55][56] In August , Rihanna and a host of other female singers recorded the charity single "Just Stand Up!", the theme song to the anti-cancer campaign Stand Up to Cancer.[57] "Live Your Life", a duet between T.I. and Rihanna, was released that November and topped the Billboard Hot

Rated R and Loud

On February 8, , Rihanna's scheduled performance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards was cancelled.[58] Reports surfaced that then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, had physically assaulted her. He was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats.[59] On March 5, , Brown was charged with assault and for making criminal threats.[60] A leaked photograph from the police department obtained by revealed that Rihanna had sustained visible injuries.[61] A few months after the incident, Rihanna was featured on the single "Run This Town" by Jay-Z, which also featured Kanye West and was released as the second single from Jay-Z's 11th studio album The Blueprint 3.[62]

In early , Rihanna began working on her fourth studio album, Rated R.[63]Rated R was released in November The album had Rolling Stone magazine stating that Rihanna "transformed her sound and made one of the best pop records of the year".[64][65]Rated R featured a darker and more foreboding tone than Rihanna's previous albums.[66]Rated R debuted at No. 4 on the US Billboard chart.[67][68][69] The album was supported by six singles, including "Rude Boy", which was the biggest worldwide success from the album, topping the US Billboard Hot for six weeks and reaching top 10 positions in 22 other countries.[70][71] In January , Rihanna released her charity cover version of "Redemption Song" for the Hope for Haiti Now campaign. She also recorded the song "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)" together with Jay-Z, Bono and The Edge for the same campaign to alleviate the Haiti earthquake.

Rihanna performing during the Loud Tour in

In summer , Rihanna collaborated with rapper Eminem on "Love the Way You Lie", which was a major worldwide success, reaching No. 1 in over 20 countries.[72] Reaching number 2, the song became the biggest-selling song of in the UK and the first of Rihanna's singles to sell over a million copies in the country.[73][74] In October , Rihanna switched managers, joining Jay-Z's Roc Nation Management.[75] In late , she was featured on three singles: Kanye West's "All of the Lights", from the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (),[76]Nicki Minaj's "Fly", from her debut studio album Pink Friday ()[77] and David Guetta's "Who's That Chick?", from the album One More Love ().[78]

Loud, Rihanna's fifth studio album, was released in November [79] The album produced three US Billboard Hot s. Its lead single, "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?", featuring rapper Drake and "S&M", following the release of its official remix featuring Britney Spears.[80][81][82][83] Rihanna set a record as the solo artist with the fastest accumulation of 10 chart toppers in the Hot s history.[84] At the 53rd Grammy Awards, "Only Girl (In the World)" won the award for Best Dance Recording.[85]

"Man Down" and "California King Bed" were released as singles in May with moderate success.[86][87] "Cheers (Drink to That)", which interpolates Avril Lavigne's single "I'm with You", was released as the seventh and final single from the album.[88] To promote the album, Rihanna embarked on her Loud Tour in June , which sold out 10 nights at The O2 Arena in London, the most sold-out shows for a female artist in the venue's history.[89][90] The tour was the seventh highest-grossing tour worldwide of [91]

Talk That Talk and Unapologetic

Rihanna's sixth album, Talk That Talk, was released in November [92] The album debuted at No. 3 in the U.S and number No. 1 in the UK[93] The album's lead single, "We Found Love", topped charts in twenty-seven countries, peaked in the top 10 in 30 countries and broke many chart records worldwide.[94] The single topped the Billboard Hot for 10 non-consecutive weeks, becoming Rihanna's longest-running No. 1 single on the chart and the longest-running No. 1 single of in the US.[95][96] The song was later named the 24th biggest hit of all time on the Billboard Hot [97] "You Da One" and the album's title track, featuring Jay-Z, were released as the second and third singles, to moderate success. "Where Have You Been", the fifth single, successfully charted worldwide, reaching No. 5 in the US and No. 6 in the UK.[98][99] "Cockiness (Love It)" was released as the album's sixth and final single in a remixed form featuring rapper ASAP Rocky.[]

In early , two collaborations featuring Rihanna were released: Coldplay's "Princess of China", from their album Mylo Xyloto, and Drake's "Take Care", from his album of the same name.[][] In February , Rihanna won her third Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the Grammy Awards for her Kanye West collaboration "All of the Lights" and was voted the Best International Female Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards for the second consecutive year.[][] March saw the simultaneous releases of two collaborations between Rihanna and Chris Brown: remixes of her song "Birthday Cake" and his "Turn Up the Music". The recordings received mainly negative responses due to the pair's history of domestic violence.[] In September , "We Found Love" won the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year, making Rihanna the first woman to receive the accolade more than once.[]

Rihanna's seventh studio album, Unapologetic, was released in November [] In the United States, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart, marking Rihanna's first No. 1 album in the country.[] The lead single from the album, "Diamonds", reached No. 1 in more than 20 countries worldwide, including on the US Billboard Hot , where it became Rihanna's 12 No. 1 on the chart.[] The album's second single, "Stay", featuring Mikky Ekko, reached the top five in over twenty countries, including No. 3 on the Billboard Hot [] As promotion prior to the album's release, Rihanna embarked on the Tour, a mini tour of seven shows in seven countries in seven days.[] On May 6, , Fox aired a documentary about the tour, with a documentary DVD being released the following day as Rihanna's third live long-form video release.[]

In February , at the 55th Grammy Awards, Rihanna won her sixth Grammy Award, in the category Best Short Form Music Video for "We Found Love" ().[] Also that month, the United Kingdom's Official Charts Company announced that Rihanna had sold 3,, records in the past year in the country, ranking at No. 1 in the list of BRIT Awards artist nominees.[] Rihanna's fifth headlining concert tour, the Diamonds World Tour, began in March , in support of Unapologetic.[] Rihanna then appeared in the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg comedy film This Is the End, which was released in June [] That same month, American hip hop artist Wale released a remixed version of his single "Bad" featuring Rihanna.[] In October , Eminem released his Rihanna-assisted single, "The Monster", as the fourth release from his eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 ().

– Standalone releases, Home soundtrack and Anti

In , Rihanna appeared on Shakira's single, "Can't Remember to Forget You".[] Following the release of Unapologetic and its accompanying tour, Rihanna aimed to take a hiatus from recording music, stating: "I wanted to have a year to just do whatever I want artistically, creatively."[] In May , Rihanna left Def Jam Recordings to sign fully with Roc Nation, the record label that had managed her career since October []

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 endeavors 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 , 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 and began in March , 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, , Rihanna released her eighth studio album, Anti, exclusively through streaming serviceTidal.[] The album peaked at No. 1 on the US Billboard , 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 chart. Further Platinum-certified singles "Needed Me" and "Love on the Brain" both peaked inside the top 10 of the US Hot [][]

In , 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 , Rihanna released "Sledgehammer", a single from the Star Trek Beyond movie soundtrack.[] On August 28, , Rihanna was honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards after performing various medleys of her hit songs.[][]

Rihanna released several collaborations in First she was the featured part in Future's "Selfish", the lead single from the rapper's sixth studio album, Hndrxx. Summer 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 , Rihanna was part of N.E.R.D's comeback single "Lemon" from the band's album No One Ever Really Dies.[][]

–present: Upcoming ninth studio album

In October , Shakka revealed that he was working with Rihanna on her "absolutely insane" album.[] In December , Rihanna confirmed that the album would be released in ,[] and later announced that it is a reggae project.[] In August , fans noticed that Rihanna and co-songwriters Collin Edwards, Monique Lawrence, and Alexander Ogunmokun registered a song titled "Private Loving" with the music publishing organization BMI.[][n 2] In September , it was announced she had signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.[] In December , Rihanna alluded to her album being complete and indefinitely withholding the release date in an Instagram post.[] She was next featured on Canadian singer PartyNextDoor's song "Believe It", which was released on March 27, []


Music and voice

Rihanna is a mezzo-soprano, with a range spanning from B2 to C#6.[][][] While recording tracks for her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (), Rihanna took vocal lessons from Ne-Yo. Speaking of the experience she stated, "I've never had vocal training, so when I'm in the studio, he'll tell me how to breathe and stuff He'll call out these big fancy words: 'OK, I want you to do staccato.' And I'm like, 'OK, I don't know what that is.'"[38] Her vocal performance on Loud () received positive reviews from music critics. James Skinner from BBC praised Rihanna's vocals on the song "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)" and wrote that her voice is powerful and that "it is Rihanna's vocal&#;– at once commanding, soulful and vulnerable&#;– that anchors the song, and Loud itself".[] Andy Gill from The Independent feels that "California King Bed" features her best vocal performance.[] In a review of Unapologetic, Billboard magazine wrote, "Diamonds finds Rihanna doing one of her throatiest, most impassioned vocals to date, on this inspirational pop ballad."[] Jon Caramanica of the New York Times stated, "over the years, as her game face froze in place, her voice cured into a weapon of emotional chill and strategic indifference. It's decidedly unfriendly, made to give orders".[]

"[My music is] just imagination, being creative; that's what my music is composed with. Being creative and thinking of situations, whether situations I went through or situations I've observed people going through. I can't tell you where I'll see myself in five years, but I can tell you I will work my best to be the most successful artist that I can be in five years. [I want to be] Remembered as Rihanna. Remembered as being the artist from the Caribbean who came here and made it internationally. Just remembered as me, 'cause I'm true to my music, and I just want people to realize that and appreciate me for that"

—Rihanna during her first interview with MTV News[]

Growing up in Barbados, she was not exposed to a variety music, mainly reggae, hip-hop and soca music.[] When she moved to the United States, she was exposed to varieties of American music "rock being one of them, and I fell in love with it. [Now] I love rock music."[] At the time of her debut, she recorded songs that were inspired by her Caribbean roots and described her early sound as "a fusion of reggae, hip-hop and R&B, with a little something different thrown in".[17][] Her early dancehall roots can be found on her debut album, Music of the Sun (), and its follow-up, A Girl like Me ().[]Music of the Sun demonstrates the influence of Rihanna's musical heritage of the Caribbean. Kelefa Sanneh of the New York Times complimented its combination of dancehall and reggae, who said, "Dancehall reggae sometimes seems like a furiously insular form of music, but Rihanna is only the latest singer to discover how versatile the genre's spring-loaded electronic rhythms can be".[] Her debut single, "Pon de Replay" features a dancehall-pop mixture that infuses a reggae style, while "If It's Lovin' that You Want" talks about a girl seducing a guy to be her boyfriend.[] Aiming for artistic growth, A Girl like Me expresses personal experiences that typical year-old girls go through with ballads that were described as elegant and mature.[] After her second album, she slowly dismissed her dancehall and reggae roots.

Rihanna's music has incorporated a wide range of genres including, pop, R&B, reggae, dubstep, hip hop and EDM. With its provocative subject matter and lyrics,[] her musical career has been an experiment with new musical ideas and stated that she wants "to make music that could be heard in parts of the world that I'd never been to".[] During a review for Good Girl Gone Bad (), Slant Magazine to write that Rihanna "finally figured out that she's a dance artist and the majority of the album is comprised of uptempo dance-pop [songs like]" "Push Up on Me" and "Don't Stop the Music".[] It represents a departure from the Caribbean sound of her previous albums and is described as a turning point in her career.[][] While the first half of the record shares many s pop influences with songs like "Don't Stop the Music" and "Shut Up and Drive", the second half retreats into standard R&B.[][]

Recorded after the assault by her then-boyfriend, Chris Brown, Rated R () had a much darker tone and was filled with various emotions she experienced throughout [] In Loud (), Rihanna reflects on the fun and energetic vibe she had while recording the album.[] The album is a mixture of ballads, party anthems and empowering love songs.[]Talk That Talk () was similar to Rated R, as both contain hip hop, R&B, dancehall and dubstep genres.[]Loud and Talk That Talk saw her explore sexuality in her work ("S&M" and "Birthday Cake") and return to her dancehall roots ("Man Down" and "Watch n' Learn").[] She also branched out into house music with tracks like "We Found Love", "Only Girl (In the World)" and "Complicated."[] Her songs are also inspired through record sampling from other artists.[]


Rihanna has cited Madonna (pictured) as her idol and biggest influence.

Rihanna has named Madonna as her idol and biggest influence. She said that she wanted to be the "black Madonna" and praised the singer for being able to constantly reinvent herself successfully throughout her career.[] She noted, "I think that Madonna was a great inspiration for me, especially on my earlier work. If I had to examine her evolution through time, I think she reinvented her clothing style and music with success every single time. And at the same time remained a real force in entertainment in the whole world."[] Another major influence on Rihanna's music and career has been Mariah Carey, whose song "Hero" she performed when Rihanna was still a teenager at her high school talent show.[] She revealed that Carey's song "Vision of Love" "was the song that made [her] want to do music."[][]

In her youth, she would see Bob Marley on television because of his fame in the Caribbean.[] She stated, "He's one of my favourite artists of all time – he really paved the way for every other artist out of the Caribbean".[] She built a shrine in her home dedicated to the reggae legend and has covered Marley's "Is This Love" and Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Redemption Song" during her concert tours.[][] During her childhood, she would go around singing Whitney Houston songs and "A Whole New World" into her hairbrush so much that her neighbors started calling her "Robyn Redbreast".[] She also stated that one of the first songs she remembers falling in love with was Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" and that it "was really inspiring, and it made me develop a passion for music, so really, she's partly responsible for me being here in this industry."[][]

Rihanna was also influenced by Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, Beyoncé and Destiny's Child.[][][][] Other musical influences and idols include Celine Dion,[]Grace Jones,[]Lil' Kim,[]Alicia Keys,[]Prince,[]Fefe Dobson,[][] and Brandy.[] Rihanna takes influence from the different types of music she discovered when she came to America and revealed that rock music was one of the first genres she fell in love with.[] She commented, "as I grow older, I want to know more about music. I want to discover more types of music".[] She cited Brandy's fourth studio album, Afrodisiac (), as her main inspiration for her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad ().[] In her early career, her music contained strong influences of Caribbean music, including reggae and dancehall.[] The music video of the song "Rude Boy" featured images inspired by her Caribbean roots.[]

Videos and stage

Rihanna has worked with music video director Anthony Mandler on more than a dozen music videos, the first being "Unfaithful" ().[] "We've done 16 videos together; they're not all tough, [] Yeah, I mean, I'm known for the 'Disturbia's and the 'Russian Roulette's and things like that, but 'Only Girl (In the World)' is certainly an ethereal kind of empowering, beauty-filled video," Mandler said.[] Jocelyn Vena of MTV wrote, "Rihanna, like Madonna, also has a tendency to make truly thought-provoking music videos that fit the songs they represent. Smattered in between glitzier, more glamorous clips, Madge and Ri want us to think about bigger issues".[] Jon Bream of the Star Tribune commented "[i]n the tradition of Madonna and Janet Jackson, Rihanna has become the video vixen of the '00s&#; Rihanna has perfected the pout, the long-legged strut and trend-setting hairdos that keep women and men alike checking her out on YouTube."[] George Epaminondas of InStyle considers Rihanna's music videos to be "cinematic" due to her "blend of lush island rhythms and swinging pop and&#; mischievous sensuality."[]

Many of her music videos were shot as short films exploring issues such as love triangles, abuse and substance abuse romance, including "We Found Love" and "Man Down".[]

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Child's Play (1988) - Chucky Escapes Scene (4/12) - Movieclips

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