Rihanna is one of the most influential and popular musicians of all time. She is also one of the highest selling artists of all time and is regarded as a sex symbol. She was discovered as a teenager and eventually was signed by rap icon Jay-Z. She has released several incredibly successful albums, including Music of the Sun (2005), A Girl Like Me (2006), Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011), Unapologetic (2012) and Anti (2016). In addition to her music pursuits, she is widely considered a fashion icon and trendsetter. She’s also transitioned into a film career and has appeared in several films, such as Battleship, This Is The End and voiced Gratuity “Tip” Tucci in the animated film Home. She has won numerous awards and accolades for her achievements in the industry. She has won eight Grammy Awards, 23 Billboard Music Awards and eight American Music Awards. She was also awarded the first ever Icon Award at the American Music Awards in 2013. The Council of Fashion Designers of America Awarded her the Fashion Icon Achievement Award. Time Magazine has named her on their 100 Most Influential People in the World list, and Forbes ranked her the fourth Most Powerful Person in the World in 2012. Her net worth is reported to be $175 Million.
Rihanna’s life often plays out in front of our very eyes. She has grown from a teen pop sensation to a sexy, sometimes controversial Pop and R&B icon. Her every move is often reported on, from her openly smoking pot to her intense relationships. It might seem like we know everything there is to know about Rihanna, however there are a few things you might not know. Here is a look at 22 Things You Didn’t Know About Rihanna.
22) Rihanna Didn’t Graduate From High School
Rihanna had her first break at the young age of 15. Rihanna met producer Evan Rogers, while he was vacationing in Barbados. Rihanna and her two friends had formed a girl group and went to audition for Evan in his hotel room. When he saw Rihanna perform, he was completely blown away. He stated, “The minute Rihanna walked in, it was like the other two girls didn’t exist.” Evan saw a ton of potential in Rihanna and signed her to his Syndicated Rhythm Productions. She flew out to the U.S. and started recording her demos. In order to fully chase her dream and take advantage of this huge opportunity, she dropped out of high school to pursue her career as a recording artist. Although, she has noted that she “hated” school but she did have plans to graduate. She mentioned that if she had stayed in school she would have gone to University to study Psychology. Luckily for her fans, that’s not how things turned out.
21) Rihanna Will Play Marion Crane In Bates Motel
Alfred Hitchcock’s groundbreaking film Psycho, revolved around Marion Crane who robs her boss of money and goes on the run. Things take a brutal turn when she ends up at the Bates Motel and meets the deranged Norman Bates. It’s widely considered one of the greatest movies ever made. It starred Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane. The film is notable for containing one of the most famous scenes in film, “The Shower Scene”, in which Marion Crane meets Mother Bates for the first time. The A&E TV series Bates Motel, is a prequel that follows Norman Bates from his teenage years as he struggles with his own demons and his overbearing mother. Recently, it was announced that Rihanna would be playing the role of Marion Crane in the upcoming final season of Bates Motel. It was also recently announced that she will appear in the upcoming reboot, Ocean’s 8, with an all-female cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling and Sandra Bullock. Let’s be honest, most people can’t get the thought of Rihanna in the famous “shower scene” out of their head.
20) Rihanna vs. Topshop
Rihanna has been a dominant force in the music industry, but she has also been a dominant force in the fashion world. She is often cited as being a fashion trendsetter and icon. She is often praised for her unique ability to reinvent herself. She is actively involved with fashion and fashion designers. Topshop is a British fashion retailer, which sells shoes, makeup, accessories and clothing. In 2012, they introduced the “Rihanna Tank” but did so without her permission and involvement. In fact, Rihanna designs for several of Topshop’s rivals, including River Island. Rihanna ended up suing Topshop and the issue went to the courts. The courts ruled in her favour and the courts felt that “the goodwill of people towards the singer had been damaged, that her merchandising business had lost sales, and the singer had suffered a loss of control over her reputation in the fashion sphere.”
19) The Tomboy And Miss Combermere
Rihanna has never really considered herself to be a “girly-girl”, and it might be because she grew up with brothers. She often described herself as being a tomboy. She’s grown into one of the most beautiful woman in the world but there is still a hint of a tomboy. Rihanna attended Combermere High School in Barbados. Long before she was turning heads with her breathtaking beauty on MTV, she was doing that in high school apparently. Turns out, Rihanna has been winning all the awards even when in high school. She participated in the school talent show and performed Mariah Carey’s version of “Hero”. However, a highlight for her in high school had to be her involvement in the high school beauty pageant. When she was 15, her friends dared her to enter the school beauty pageant. Despite actually being shy, not only did she enter but she also won the pageant. She was crowned Miss Combermere. She also won Best Gown and Most Photogenic.
18) Pre-Performance Ritual
Rihanna is often praised for her incredible live performances and concerts. She performs for thousands and thousands of screaming fans. She has a few rituals that help her get prepared for these stellar performances. In a 2011 interview with Esquire, she went over some of the ways she takes care of her voice. She works with her voice coach and does a half hour of voice warm ups. Also, she steams her voice and eats lozenges. However, her ritual gets a little unique from this point. She takes her work so seriously that it creates some anxiety in her. To help calm her nerves, she’ll take a shot diluted with water before going on stage. Sometimes, she’ll throw on an oversized hoodie and go into the audience prior to her performance. She does this so she can watch her opening act. Next time anyone goes to a Rihanna concert, they might want to take a closer look at the person with the hoodie on.
17) Rihanna Was An Army Cadet
Rihanna can sing, dance and fight in a war…. okay, maybe she shouldn’t actually fight in a war but she certainly has a background that could assist in that. While living in Barbados, Rihanna was in the army cadets in the sub-military program in her teenage years. She was a bit of a tomboy and wanted to show the guys just how tough she was. She ended up reaching the rank of corporal. Later, she would be able to put all that military training to good use. In 2011, Rihanna would appear in the film Battleship, which was directed by Peter Berg. During her time as a cadet, her drill sergeant was singer Shontelle, who noted that one of her duties included bossing the cadets around and making them do push ups. In an interview with the BBC, Shontelle said, “We were both in cadets together—it wasn’t compulsory or anything. But picture me and Rihanna in combat boots and fatigues crawling through mud and things like that.”
16) Rihanna Is Addicted To Tattoos
Rihanna has admitted that her only real addiction is to tattoos. She once said, “I am so intrigued by tattoos. It’s an entire culture, and I study it. Sometimes I go with friends, or just by myself. I get bum-rushed, but I don’t care. I don’t take security.” She currently has 21 tattoos but one can only assume that she’ll be adding more in the future. Her first tattoo was of music notes on her foot, which she later covered up with a falcon. In 2012, she got a tattoo on her chest of the Egyptian goddess, Isis, who represents the ideal wife and mother. She got the tattoo of Isis as a tribute to her late grandmother. Some of her other tattoos include a skull on the back of her leg, a tribal design covering her whole hand, the word “love” on her middle finger, “shhhh” written on her index finger, a gun under her right armpit, a star on her ear, stars trailing down her neck to her back, and many more.
15) Rihanna And Katy Perry
Katy Perry is a pop icon and one of the best selling solo female artists. Katy Perry has released several chart topping singles, such as “I Kissed A Girl”, “Teenage Dream” and “Firework”. Many fans might know that Rihanna and Katy are good friends but some might not know about all the ups and downs. The two became friends after Katy complimented Rihanna on her Valentino bag. Rihanna sent Katy the same Valentino Bag for Valentine’s Day and the friendship grew from there. Rihanna threw Katy a bachelorette party in Las Vegas and one can only assume it was a wild and crazy night. Rihanna was supposed to be Katy’s maid of honor for her marriage to comedian Russell Brand, however, Rihanna couldn’t make it to India due to recording commitments. The two best friends had a brief falling out after Rihanna briefly reunited with Chris Brown. Since then they have reconciled and remain good friends.
14) Rihanna Suffered From Intense Headaches
When Rihanna was 8 years old she began to suffer from severe and crippling headaches. It was roughly around the same that her parents, Monica and Ronald, were having problems in their marriage. This caused a great amount of stress on the young Rihanna. The stress may have contributed to her headaches. She had several CT scans in an attempt to discover the issue. At one point she noted that the doctors even speculated that she might have a tumor, which of course wasn’t the case. As a child she actually thought the headaches meant there was something “abnormal” with her. She tried to keep what was going on with her to herself and didn’t share it with any of her friends. She recalled, “I always kept it in. I would go to school… you would never know there was something wrong with me.” Her headaches finally stopped around the age of 14 when her parents divorced.
13) Rihanna Does A Lot Of Charity Work
It might not surprise anyone that Rihanna is involved with several charities and gives back to her community but it is still worth noting. She has started several foundations and sponsors many successful charity events. In 2012, she founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), which is named after her grandparents. She founded the CLF to aid impoverished communities across the globe, with healthcare, education programs and more. The CLF hosts the Diamond Ball Charity Event that has raised millions of dollars. The CLF includes the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elisabeth Hospital in Barbados. In 2016, the CLF introduced a scholarship program. The scholarship program is open to anyone from Barbados, Cuba, Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana and the United States. She also started the Believe Foundation in order to help terminally ill children. To help raise awareness for HIV/Aids, she assisted in the H&M Fashion Against Aids Line.
12) Rihanna’s Idols And Inspiration
Rihanna has many influences that have had a major impact on her career and musical styles. One of her biggest idols is pop icon and legend Madonna. Rihanna admires Madonna’s ability to reinvent herself, which has been a huge influence on Rihanna. She has even gone as far as to say that she wants to be the “black Madonna.” Icon Janet Jackson has been an inspiration to her career and noted that Janet Jackson is the first female artist she felt she could identify with. Beyoncé is another source of inspiration for Rihanna. A major influence on Rihanna was R&B Icon Mariah Carey. Rihanna performed Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in her school’s talent show. Rihanna has said that the Mariah Carey song “Vision of Love”, was the song that “made her want to do music.” Reggae legend Bob Marley is her favourite artist, and she even built a shrine for Marley in her home. Some of her other influences include Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and Prince.
11) Rihanna Witnessed An Exorcism
As a child, Rihanna grew up in a very religious community. She often attended church and has apparently witnessed some pretty spooky stuff. During an interview with Jo-Jo Wright on 102.7 Kiss FM, Rihanna recalled a story from her childhood involving an exorcism. She noted that often at church people would start screaming and the rest of the Churchgoers would pray around that person. She told a story about a time at a friend’s house. She said, “They were praying around this table, we were young though, and one of the girls, she got up and she just started screaming. I remember they locked us in the bedroom because they didn’t want kids to see that. Every time they prayed she would start screaming in the weirdest voice. It’s funny now but at the time I was like s***ing myself.” She also believes in ghosts and won’t stay at the Chateau Marmont hotel because she believes it to be haunted. It was the site of comedian John Belushi’s death in 1982.
10) Rihanna’s Turned Down Playboy Several Times
Rihanna is regarded as a sex symbol and is often described as being beautiful, stunning and gorgeous. She ranked in the top ten on both FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, and Maxim’s Hot 100. Esquire named her the Sexiest Woman Alive in 2011 and Complex included her on their 100 Hottest Female Singers Of All Time list. She is known for having a sexy and provocative image. In fact, her Instagram features Rihanna showing off her body and being proud of it. However, despite her openness and being comfortable with her own sexuality, she doesn’t want to give it all away. Playboy magazine has made several offers to her but she has turned all of them down. Apparently, Rihanna likes to leave things to the imagination.
9) Rihanna’s Legs Are Insured For $1 Million
Rihanna has many amazing assets that she puts on display. She has an incredible voice that can send chills up the spine. She has a breathtaking beauty that turns heads everywhere she goes. But one of her most important assets are her stunning and sexy legs. She has legs for days and they melt hearts all over the world. Her legs are so valuable that she had to have them insured. She’s just not taking the risk when it comes to her legs and nobody else is either. In 2007, Gillette named her “Celebrity Legs of Goddess” and Gillette had her legs insured for 1 million dollars. However, she won’t let the fact that she has the sexiest legs in Hollywood get to her head. In an interview with The Guardian she said, “But I think I’m just normal. I think, ‘Do people really insure their legs for a million dollars?’ If it was my million dollars, I’d probably walk about in pants all day long.”
8) Rihanna Banned Umbrellas From Her Concerts
Rihanna has had many smash hit singles, such as “Pon De Replay”, “Take A Bow”, “We Found Love” and “Stay”. However, the incredible song, “Umbrella” is widely regarded as one of her biggest hits. The hugely popular track also featured Jay-Z and was included on the 2007 album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The song is about the strength of a platonic and romantic relationship. “Umbrella” ended up being a huge success for Rihanna. Entertainment Weekly ranked the song number one on its 10 Best Singles of 2007, and Rolling Stone magazine included it on their 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. The song won a Grammy Award and was nominated for several others. The music video for the song was directed by Chris Applebaum and featured her doing a dance with an umbrella. Thousands of her fans were showing up to her concerts with umbrellas, which resulted in some accidents and injuries. Rihanna decided to ban all umbrellas from future performances for the safety of her fans.
7) Rihanna’s Favourite Movie Is Napoleon Dynamite
Rihanna is constantly on tour and in the studio, producing hit after hit. So she deserves and earns her downtime. She is a huge fan of reality TV and watches a lot of it. Rihanna’s favourite movie is the 2004 cult comedy Napoleon Dynamite. The plot revolves around the awkward Napoleon Dynamite as he attempts to navigate his way through life. Jared Hess directed the film and it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2004. It ended up generating a huge buzz and was purchased by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess wrote the screenplay for the film. Napoleon Dynamite was released on June 11, 2004, and it starred Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez and Haylie Duff. The film did well at the box office and went on to gain a significant cult following.
6) Rihanna Loves Junk Food But Is Not A Fan Of Vegetables
Rihanna clearly has a love affair with food, and like any normal person there is some food she loves and others she hates. She loves junk food and it’s been reported that her tour rider is full of junk food. Her favourite dessert is cheesecake and chocolate ice cream. She dislikes vegetables and instead, likes to eat local fruits. Apparently, she isn’t a fan of Indian, Mexican, Chinese, or Japanese food. Food she does enjoy includes, callaloo, curry chicken and spaghetti. Her favorite restaurant is a family owned Italian restaurant, Giorgio Baldi. Her friends Jay-Z and Beyoncé introduced her to the restaurant and often encourage her to try eating new food. However, it’s clear she won’t be giving up junk food anytime soon. She loves food so much she once said, “Legit, I have been in the gym every day this week because I am not willing to give up my food. But I will sacrifice an hour for the gym.”
5) Rihanna’s Father Struggled with Addiction
Rihanna’s father, Ronald Fenty, has struggled with cocaine and alcohol addiction starting when Rihanna was a child. Reportedly, as a teenager she once walked in on her father smoking crack. When she was 14, his addictions were getting out of control and causing a strain on his marriage. He and his wife, Monica, were divorced not too long after. However, Ronald remained close with Rihanna and she has tried to help him in anyway she can. Regardless, their relationship has been rocky and very difficult at times. During a tour, Rihanna was forced to send her father home after he had become drunk. She essentially cut him out of her life for a few years but they’ve reconciled since. Rihanna paid for his stay at the Summit Rehab in Malibu. She paid $58,000 for a 30-day stay. In 2014, he had a relapse at an event Rihanna had put on in support of her charities, The Diamond Ball. She continued to support her father. In June 2016, she purchased a mansion for her father, which cost a reported $1.8 million.
4) Rihanna Has Strict Bikini Waxing Rules
Rihanna clearly loves her fans, but there is a time and place to ask a celebrity for an autograph. Rihanna takes getting a bikini wax very serious and she should. It’s serious business and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Some people might feel uncomfortable with the whole experience but still want it done for various reasons. Rihanna has some strict rules when it comes to getting a bikini wax. She requires that the waxer be foreign and not speak English. She once said, “Every time I get a wax I specify the lady is old and speak Russian and no English”. There is actually a pretty good reason for this. Rihanna recalled a story when the waxer was a young woman who instantly recognized Rihanna. While Rihanna was in a compromising position and in a lot of pain, the waxer couldn’t contain her excitement anymore and asked for her autograph. Seems like there could have been a better time to ask Rihanna for her autograph.
3) Rihanna’s Law
The situation and relationship between Rihanna and R&B singer Chris Brown, is widely known. On February 8, 2009, it was reported that Chris Brown had physically assaulted Rihanna. This was just mere hours from the 51st Grammy Awards where Rihanna was to perform, but the performance ended up being cancelled. TMZ quickly released a graphic photo of Rihanna with visible injuries, which would have been taken by the LAPD soon after the incident. The organization, STOParazzi proposed “Rihanna’s Law”, which would hold gossip sites, such as TMZ, responsible for leaking the pictures of victims. Currently, they can only be charged if money was exchanged and it can be proven that money was exchanged. ‘Rihanna’s Law’ would change that and hold any person responsible for leaking such crucial information. Most major news outlets not only revealed that she was a victim, but also showed the picture. Gil Kaufman pointed out in an article for MTV that, “nonstop coverage of the Rihanna/Brown case has brought up a number of issues regarding the privacy of alleged victims of domestic violence…”
2) Rihanna Day
Rihanna was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, but she grew up in Bridgetown. She’s clearly proud of her roots and Barbados is proud of their most famous export. In 2012, she was involved in a campaign, which dubbed her the “Face of Barbados” to boot tourism. Rihanna has broken several records and has won Grammy Awards, MTV Awards and Billboard Music Awards. However, her home country may have trumped all those accolades and awards. Barbados decided to honor the incredibly talented singer-songwriter and presented her with one of the highest honors possible. In 2008, Prime Minister David Thompson, announced that February 22nd is now officially “Rihanna Day”. It’s not a bank holiday, meaning that it’s not a day off from work or school, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the best day of the year. One can only assume that ‘Rihanna Day’ celebrations include dancing, looking incredibly beautiful, smoking pot, eating junk food and twerking. Hopefully this becomes an international holiday.
1) Who is Rihanna?
Before she made it big, somebody spray-painted the phrase “Who Is Rihanna?” on the side of the University of The West Indies. This was in 2005 after she had signed with Jay-Z and was still an ‘unknown’ artist. Rihanna was actually born Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Both of her brothers’ names also start with an “R”, their names being Rorrey and Rajad. Rihanna is actually her middle name, which is Arabic for “sweet basil.” She never used her middle name until she began using it as her stage name. Growing up she went by her first name, Robyn. In fact, to this day her close friends and family call her Robyn. She often responds to Robyn over Rihanna. She once said, “I get kind of numb to hearing Rihanna, Rihanna, Rihanna” and went on to say, “When I hear Robyn I pay attention.” Rihanna could probably still sell a million copies regardless of what name she chooses to go by. We’re pretty sure she could sell millions of albums even if she didn’t have a name.