Rihanna is nothing if not prolific. Since her 2005 debut, the 25-year-old singer has released seven albums and racked up twelve No. 1 singles, setting a record in the process as the solo artist with the fastest accumulation of ten chart-topping singles – a feat she accomplished in just under five years. A quick scroll through the radio dial will confirm that Rihanna is the most ubiquitous figure in Top 40 airplay, and considering her rapid-fire release schedule, it’s hardly a surprise that she recently edged out her idol Whitney Houston to become the artist with the ninth most Top 10 singles ever (24 in total). After hugely successful collaborations with Eminem in 2010 (“Love the Way You Lie”) and Drake in 2012 (Take Care), Rihanna scored her first U.S. No. 1 album with 2012’s Unapologetic, which includes the hugely successful “Diamonds” and “Stay.” Rihanna is shining bright in concert on the 2013 Diamonds World Tour -- opening acts 2 Chainz and A$AP Rocky are worth the ticket price alone.
Born in Barbados in 1988, Rihanna grew up listening to reggae and began singing at age seven. As a teen, her Caribbean-influenced demos attracted the attention of label execs, and in 2005 she auditioned for Jay-Z, signing a six-album record deal with Def Jam Recordings the same day. Her first two albums, Mother of the Sun (2005) and A Girl Like Me (2006), spawned hit singles “Pon De Replay” and chart-topper “S.O.S.,” but it wasn’t until “Umbrella,” from third album Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), that she cemented her place as a serious contender to the pop throne. Originally written for Britney Spears, “Umbrella” peaked at No. 1 and earned Rihanna her first Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. A string of platinum-selling albums would follow, including Loud (2010) and Talk That Talk (2011), both of which featured an increasingly dance-oriented sound, including chart-topping club anthems “Only Girl (In the World)” and “We Found Love.” After terminating her tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship with rapper Chris Brown, Rihanna released Unapologetic in 2013 to positive reviews – and a No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200.
Published Apr 01,2014 6:10 PM / Tara Hall
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