Did you know? In 2015 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that Rihanna has surpassed more than 100 million Gold & Platinum song certifications and is the first and only artist to do this.

Rihanna is a singer, songwriter and actress. Born in St Michael, Barbados she grew up listening to reggae music and began singing at the age of seven. Although an avid student at school she did want to graduate from high school but decided to pursue a music career instead. In 2003, after forming a band with two of her class mates from school, she was discovered in her home country of Barbados by American record producer Evan Rogers. Without a demo or even a name for the band, the girl group managed to secure an audition with Rogers. At the audition, Rihanna stood out from the rest of the girls so was invited back the next day by herself where she performed renditions of Destiny’s Child’s “Emotion” and Mariah Careys’s “Hero”. Impressed by her audition, Rogers scheduled another meeting with her mother present to the US to record some demo tapes which could then be sent to record labels. She recorded the demo intermittently during that year in her school holidays and was signed to Rogers’ and Carl Sturkend’s production company, Syndicated Rhythm Productions.

In 2005 Rihanna’s demo found its way to A&R executive, Jay Brown at Def Jam Recordings. brown played the demo to rapper Jay Z who had recently been appointed as president and CEO of Def Jam. He was initially he was skeptical about the singer so invited her to come and audition for him in the flesh. At the audition she was introduced to music mogul Antonio “L.A.” Reid BY Jay Z and sang Whitney Houston’s cover of “For the Love of You” (1987) and two tracks from her demo tape, “Pon de Replay” and “The Last Time”. Both Jay Z and L.A. Reid where impressed and signed her their on the spot. After this she relocated from Barbados to the US and went to live Evan Rogers and his wife.

Her first single release “Pon de Replay” from debut album “Music of the Sun” charted successfully worldwide, peaking in the top five in fifteen countries, including number two on US Billboard Hot 100 Chart and the UK Singles Chart. “Music of the Sun” was released in August 2005. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and received a gold certification and sold over two million copies worldwide. She has earned fourteen number-one singles and 31 Top 10 Hits. She is one of the best-selling artists of all time and has received numerous awards throughout her career such as 8 Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 12 American Music Awards and many more. She has sold over 10 million albums and Nielsen SoundScan ranked her as the best-selling digital artist in the US, and has sold over seven million albums in the UK making her the third best-selling female artist this century.

Article by Candice Eastman.

George Millington