Rihanna is one of the most famous artists of the 21st century. She has a following of millions of people throughout the world who constantly listen to her music and keep up with her life. Despite being famous, there are still some facts about her that are unknown to many people.
Even if you are a hardcore Rihanna fan, you might not know about some facts that are about to be revealed. Keep reading to learn 18 surprising facts you may not know about Rihanna.
What is Rihanna’s Real Name?
Rihanna’s real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Rihanna is her middle name which she chose to also use as her stage name.
Although it is not known why she specifically chose to use her middle name as her stage name, it is likely because it has more of a ring to it than Robyn.
Despite being known by all her fans as Rihanna, her family and close friends still call her Robyn.
What is Rihanna’s Net Worth?
As of 2021, Rihanna’s net worth is over $1 billion dollars, making her the richest female musician in the world.
Many people might have guessed Beyonce was the richest female in music, however, most of Rihanna’s income isn’t from her music career.
According to Forbes, most of her money comes from her beauty line, Fenty Beauty. She owns 50% of Fenty Beauty, which is responsible for over a billion dollars of her net worth alone.
How Tall is Rihanna?
Rihanna is 5ft 8in tall.
Where is Rihanna From?
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados. Despite now being famous and living in the U.S, she was actually raised in Barbados.
Her father Ronald is of Barbadian and Irish descent. On the other hand, her mother, Monica Braithwathe is of Guyanese descent.
Riri also has two brothers and three half-siblings from her dad’s side of the family. She grew up in Bridgetown, Barbados.
She later confessed that she suffered from severe mental trauma because of her dad’s addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine.
High School and Military Service
Riri attended Combermere High School in Barbados. Rihanna won her high school beauty pageant, just one year before she released her hit single “Pon de Replay” She was crowned as Miss Combermere for her performance in the pageant.
Her success in this competition is often said to be due to her performance of Mariah Carey’s song “Hero” in the talent show portion of the competition.
During her time in Barbados, she was also an army cadet for a pre-military program. Over the course of her time in this program, famous singer and songwriter Shontelle was her drill sergeant.
High School Dropout
You might look at how successful the Caribbean singer has become, and not even think about the fact that she dropped out of high school when she was 16.
One year after dropping out of high school, she moved to America and signed a deal with music label Def Jam records.
After she had an audition with record producer Evan Rogers in 2003, she produced a demo in 2004. She was flown to New York City to meet with Jay-Z, the president of Def Jam records at the time, later that year.
Her Rise to Fame
Rihanna started to become famous after her debut studio album in 2005, Music of the Sun. She followed this album up in 2006 with her second album, A Girl like Me.
Her hit song from this album “SOS” quickly rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The song continued to later appear on the Top 10 songs of the Billboard 200 charts.
Her Hit Song Almost Wasn’t Hers
In 2008, her hit song “Umbrella” was released. What some of you might not know is that the song was originally written for Britney Spears. When Britney turned down the song, it was offered to Mary J. Blige and Def Jam Records.
This single from her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad, won her a Grammy award for Best Rap/song collaboration with Jay-Z in 2008.
This song is one of the biggest hits of her music career. It is crazy to think that it could have been Britney Spears singing “Umbrella” instead of Rihanna.
She Has Won 33 Music Awards
Her music has been so popular and successful that she has undoubtedly become one of the most famous pop stars ever.
Her talent and success throughout her music career have earned her eight Grammy Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, nine American Music Awards, and four iHeartRadio Music Awards.
Guinness World Record Holder
She has broken multiple Guinness World records for the performance of her songs. Some records she holds are: “most consecutive years of UK no.1 singles,” “female artists with most U.S no.1 singles in a year,” and “most digital no.1 singles in the U.S”.
Another great achievement that didn’t break a Guinness World record, but is still worth noting, is that one of her songs was number one in the Top 100 charts for 10 weeks in a row.
This happened in 2011 with her hit song “We Found Love”.
She Has Her Own Holliday
You heard that right, Rihanna has her own holiday. On February 22, 2008, the prime minister of Barbados at the time decided to declare that day “Rihanna day.”
This was done to celebrate all of the success she has accomplished throughout her career. Not many people can say that they have their own holiday, but Rihanna sure can brag.
She Had a Cameo in “Bring it On: All or Nothing.”
Rihanna played herself in “Bring it On: All or Nothing.” She appeared as one of the judges at the final tournament where she announced the winning cheer team who would perform in one of her music videos.
She continued her Hollywood career by making appearances in movies like “Ocean’s 8” and “Home”. On top of that, she made a guest appearance on “Bates Motel” in 2017.
She’s Breaking Barriers in the Fashion Industry
Rihanna made history in 2019 when she became the first woman to launch a fashion line with Louis Vuitton.
As if breaking records and barriers in the music industry wasn’t enough, Riri took her achievements one step further by making breakthroughs in the fashion industry as well.
She Contributes to Charity
It might not surprise you that Rihanna contributes yearly to charity as most celebrities do, but what might surprise you is how much she contributes. In 2017, she won the Harvard Humanitarian of the Year award for her charity work over the past decade.
She founded the Believe Foundation in 2006 to help children in need all over the world.
This charity helps provide children in need with school supplies, clothes, medical attention, and toys. On top of this, Rihanna hosts a yearly charity ball called the Diamond Ball.
She has been a Witness to Exorcisms
Rihanna said in a 2011 interview with a Los Angeles Radio Station that she has seen multiple exorcisms. She also told the story of the time when she was in church and a girl “went out of control” and started speaking in a different voice.
She Never Took Vocal Lessons
It might be hard to believe that Rihanna has never had any formal vocal lessons. However, she did get some informal lessons from R&B singer Ne-Yo back in 2007.
She told MTV in an interview in 2007 that Ne-Yo would help her by giving her pointers on how to breathe while they were recording together in the studio.
Rihanna has several wax figures of her in various museums throughout the world. As of 2013, there were 8 different wax figures of her on display in Madame Tussauds wax museums.
One of her wax figures is on display at the New York Times Square location, and it took four months to complete.
She Wasn’t Allowed to Wear Makeup
The Female artist revealed in a 2017 interview that her mother did not allow her to wear makeup when she was growing up. This might be surprising because her makeup line “Fenty Beauty” is one of the most famous makeup lines in the world.
She has accomplished great things in the beauty industry by creating her own makeup line that is more inclusive.
Her line Fenty Beauty, backed by LVMH, is often praised for her color inclusivity. Her “Fenty Effect” has pushed other makeup lines to include over 40 different shades of foundation colors.
She Has a Street Named After Her
The street where she grew up in Barbados had its name changed in 2017 to honor Rihanna. On the day of the Independence of Barbados in 2017, Rihanna attended the ceremony to have a street named after her.
The street previously named Westbury New Road is now named Rihanna Drive.
Her Relationship Shocked the Nation
Although many celebrities spend lots of time in the tabloids, there is perhaps nothing quite as famous as Rihanna’s relationship with Chris Brown which came to an end in 2009.
Chris Brown was later prosecuted for physically abusing Rihanna, and even confessed to threatening to kill her at one point.
This showed people everywhere that abuse can happen to anyone, even Rihanna. This experience later led to her collaboration with rapper Eminem on the song “Love the Way You Lie.”