Rihanna

Thesis Statement:

Rihanna is an example of a woman who can do it all, ranging from a singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actress. Rihanna uses her platform to speak for women of all different sizes and shapes, and helping women feel empowered in their own body. Rihanna proves that black women can become anything they want to be in life.

Artist History:

  • Rihanna was born in Barbados on February 20th, 1988. 
  • Rihanna has two other siblings born from her mother, Monica Fenty and Ronald Fenty. 
  • Madonna is considered someone who Rihanna looks up to the most as well as Mary J. Blige. She adores how Madonna is able to embrace her different style of music, being able to reinvent music as we know it today. 
  • Rihanna faced many issues at home, which made her turn to singing. She was able to form a girl group with her classmates when she was only 15 years old. She got discovered by Evan Rogers during an audition with these classmates. However, Rihanna was able to stand out among these other girls which made Rogers interested in helping her form a music career. She decided to leave Barbados to America with Rogers to get her music career off the ground. 

Professional Career:

  • “I wanted to do what I had to do, even if that meant moving to America.” Rihanna quoted before her music career turned her into a multi-millionaire. During Rihanna’s early singing career where she was first starting out, she auditioned for Def Jam Records, with Jay-Z being the President. Her powerful voice captivated everyone in that audition room, leading to her getting signed the same day. 
  •   “Pon De Replay,” was Rihanna’s first hit song on Billboard, and many recognized her as an upcoming star. People could also recognize her voice from anywhere, which made her an artist that would take the world by storm. 
  • In 2007, Rihanna released her album, “Good Girl Gone Bad,” and this completely put her on the map, making the rest history with this music icon. This album included her famous song, “Umbrella,” featuring Jay-Z. This song is still played on the radio today considering how timeless this song is. 
  • Later in this singer’s career, she was touring all over the world. In 2012, she was able to tour in 7 countries in 7 days. This is what made the 777 tour unforgettable for many audience members. Rihanna had the opportunity to earn her first ever Icon award at the American Music Awards in 2014.
  • Rihanna became an artist known all over the world from her voice, to her adorable baby face features and beautiful green eyes. She began to release more albums over the years including: Rated R, A Girl Like Me, Loud, Anti, and many more. 
  • On September 8th, 2017, Rihanna’s brand new makeup line, “Fenty Beauty,” was released. She was able to not only become a singer with multiple awards and landing her songs on the Billboard 100, but an entrepreneur as well. With Fenty Beauty, her target consumers were to be black women in all different shades. Her foundation shades included 50 shades ranging from the lightest pale, to the darkest brown for black women. 
  • Aside from Fenty Beauty, she came out with her very own lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, which made Victoria’s Secret sales plummet in only a couple years because of their lack of diversity in shapes in sizes coming from the models. After Victoria’s Secret announced they would no longer air their annual famous fashion show that put them on the map in the 1990’s, sales dropped and stores began closing at unbelievable rates. Savage X Fenty became the new lingerie brand everyone was talking about because Rihanna included models of diverse backgrounds that didn’t fit the standard runway model size. She released her own version of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show just this year with many well-known singers performing that aired on Amazon Prime Video. 

Contemporaries

  • Beyoncé Knowles Carter
  • Kelly Rowland
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Shakira

Awards

  • 9 Grammy Awards
  • 8 Billboard Music Awards
  • 7 MTV Video Music Awards
  • 12 Billboard Music Awards
  • 2 BRIT Awards
  • President’s Award, 2020 NAACP 

Social Involvement

Besides being a singer, actress, and entrepreneur, Rihanna is also a philanthropist. She has been able to establish the “Clara Lionel Foundation,” which helps fund education programs around the world. She has always had a passion for helping children in need as well. In 2006, Rihanna launched the “Believe Foundation” for children who are terminally ill. In her hometown of Barbados, she became involved with the government where she promotes education, investment, and tourism. According to the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, states, “Rihanna has a deep love for this country and this reflected in her philanthropy, especially in the areas of health and education. She also shows her patriotism in the way she gives back to Barbados and continues to treasure the island as her home.”   

Conclusion

Rihanna is nothing short of a woman who represents those who do not have a voice. Rihanna shows herself with a purpose and not just a singer. She has shown multiple times that giving back to her community is something she enjoys doing, and not just for media or press to get recognition as she already made a name for herself. Rihanna has also proven that beauty does not have to have a certain standard that everyone has to follow, as this has led to many beautiful women being left in the dark just because they do not fit the normal standard of beauty. She has spoken to many people going through domestic violence, as she has been a former victim of domestic violence herself from her ex, Chris Brown. Her music is made to empower her audience with her upbeat sounds and lyrics and she has made a name for herself in the music industry as someone who doesn’t just make music, but someone who is a light for others. Rihanna doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon and will continue to shine no matter who or what steps in her way.

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