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Rihanna's rise to success

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The Barbadian songstress has created quite a stir in The United States with her music, her nubile charms and her dusky hot looks. Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, her childhood in Barbados was deeply impacted by her father’s crack cocaine addiction which led to the eventual divorce of her parents when Rihanna was 14. However, her mother ensured that her children got a sound upbringing. Rihanna started singing when she was seven and by 15 she was all set to foot her very own band with two school mates. This led to her eventual introduction to producer Evan Rogers, who thought that the young girl had loads of potential. Although her two class mates did not make it, Rihanna was pegged for the big time and realizing this, Evan invited her to the United States.

All of 15, Rihanna and her mom traveled frequently to Evan’s home in Connecticut and she finally made the decision to shift base at 16. Still in school, it took her a year to cut her demo CD because she could only work on it during scheduled school breaks. She found a home with Rogers and his wife and worked on her rendition of Whitney Houston’s For the Love Of You to showcase her singing skills. This would in time lead to her first hit single, Pon de Replay.

Rihanna was quickly signed on by Def Jam Recording after they heard the young girl’s demo. Her first single, Pon de Replay got her recognition throughout the world. The song debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and made it to the top of the charts in almost 15 countries. She then released her debut album which quickly climbed the charts and reached a record sales figure of 69,000 copies in its first week after release.

However, critics had certainly not warmed up to the young songstress. They insisted that everything from the girl's dressing sense to her vocals and style of singing and performances was an attempt to emulate Beyonce but fans could not get enough of Rihanna and her second single Unfaithful was also a chartbuster across the world. The success of her album was followed by two headlining tours and Rihanna also made her acting debut with a cameo role while she was at it.

Her third studio album Good Girl Gone Bad finally helped her to ease off the nasty comparisons to Beyonce; the cute teenager had suddenly turned into a sexy nymphet , she died her hair black and cut it short, her coiffured hair would eventually become her trademark style. The album was jam packed with foot tapping dance tracks; this offering from the singer received critical acclaim as well. The album churned out 8 hit singles along with the mega popular Umbrellacollaboration with Jay-Z.

Rihanna won numerous accolades for her music, including her first Grammy in 2008 and five nominations; this was followed by her second headlining tour which saw fans packing stadiums in The United States, Europe and Canada.

Rihanna has had a reasonably scandal free career run; apart from a domestic violence issue with the boyfriend Chris Brown which was blown out to bits in the media. Chris and Rihanna who kept rubbishing talks about them being in a relationship finally admitted that they were seeing each other. Her fans could not get enough of the cute young couple. But, then Chris decided to get all physical and bash the poor girl black and blue. Things got so out of hand that her performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards had to be called off because Rihanna had bruises all over.

Somebody from the law enforcement department released the pictures and this opened a big can of worms for Chris. He was arrested on charges of assault and making criminal threats. The whole thing died down eventually but Rihanna's decision to be cordial with Chris was not appreciated by her fans. Most people could not believe that Brown could have been retarded enough to hit a girl like Rihanna; its not like he can do any better than her, actually she was way beyond his league.

Other controversies surrounding the star have mostly been about her impromptu role as the cultural ambassadress of her homeland and the gift of a piece of free land being conferred upon her by a local minister. Then, there was the little nekkie pose with nothing but a top hat and cigarette in the mouth that created quite a furor because Rihanna always maintained that she considered herself to be a role model for young girls. So, people could not believe that she was actually sending out such a strong message condoning smoking.
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