Rihanna is an R&B singer who has sold over 14 million albums since the start of her career and had 44 million downloads. She was born Robin Rihanna Fenty in Barbados in 1988. Her heritage is a mix of Afro-Guyanese, Barbadian and Irish. Rihanna's childhood was a bit shaky due to her father's crack cocaine addiction and her parent's marriage problems.
When Rihanna was 14 years old, her parents split apart. By this time, the young girl had already found music and formed a girl group with two other girls from her school. When Evan Rogers, a record producer, came to vacation in Barbados, the girls went to audition for him. The man was blown away by Rihanna and became her sole mentor and guide into the music industry. Rihanna and her mother spent the next year going between Rogers' home in Connecticut and Barbados.
When the young singer turned 16, she moved in with the Rogers family. That is when Rihanna recorded her first demo of four songs, though it took a full year to complete because of her school schedule. When then president of Def Jam Jay-Z heard the demo, he signed Rihanna to the label. Rihanna was just 17 years old when her first full length album was released. The debut album sold 69,000 copies in just the first week and made it to number 10 on the Billboard 200. The sales continued into gold status which over 500,000 sales. Even though the album was marketed as reggae because Rihanna is from Barbados, it was clear that the singer's influence was more R&B and pop.
Rihanna's next album, released a year later in 2006, went to the top of the charts and sold over 1 million copies. The next two albums were also a big hit and mark Rihanna's image change into a sexier icon.