Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rihanna's early years in Barbados

What do most of us know about Rihanna before she made it to America, hooked up with Jay-Z and made it big?  Not much.  After this post, you'll know a little bit more...

In a small town in the Caribbean island nation of Barbados named St. Michael, Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988. Her father is Ronald Fenty, a white Barbadian of Irish descent, and her mother is Monica Fenty, a black Guyanese beauty of Bajan lineage. An oldest child, Rihanna has two younger brothers, Rajad and Rorrey.

(baby Rihanna)

Growing up, Rihanna lived a somewhat trouble-free, normal life on her island home.  She earned her primary education at Charles F. Broome Memorial School and then went to the prestigious Combermere School, a kind of technical high school, for her secondary education.  She crowned the title of Miss Combermere in 2004 and sang Mariah Carey’s “Hero” at the Colours of Combermere School show. 

(a 12 year old Rihanna)

As student of Combermere School Rihanna also formed a trio singing group with two of her classmates.  Her big break in the music scene came in 2003, when one of her close friends introduced her to New York City record producer Evan Rogers, who at that time vacationing with his Barbadian wife Jackie, in Barbados.

(a full grown Rihanna)

 With the help of Rogers, Rihanna made some demo songs in the United States at the ripe age of 16 and sent them to various recording companies.  Her hard work paid off a year later when the impressed record executive Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter who signed Rihanna to his label, Def Jam Records.  

(reportedly Rihanna's childhood home in Barbados)

The rest is history, since her first record label Rihanna has gone on to sell more than 15 million records and 45 million singles worldwide.  She has also achieved 9 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since first appearing on the chart on June 11, 2005, which is the most by any artist during that time span.

BONUS LINK:  Rihanna at 15 singing Hero

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