With the global release of her sixth Island Def Jam studio album Talk That Talk in November 2011, Rihanna took another giant step in her journey to dominate popular music and fashion worldwide. Talk That Talk’s first single, “We Found Love” (written and produced by, and featuring Scottish musician Calvin Harris) was a #1 hit in some 20 territories (including the U.S., UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, and more), with too many gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications to count. In addition:
• “We Found Love” was by far the biggest single of Rihanna’s career to date, spending 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., besting her previous record of seven weeks apiece at #1 for “Umbrella” (featuring Jay-Z) back in 2007, and T.I.’s “Love Your Life” (featuring Rihanna) in 2008.
• “We Found Love” made history as Rihanna’s 11th #1 hit on the Hot 100, and her 20th Top 10 hit. At age 23, Rihanna became the youngest artist in Billboard chart history to earn 11 Hot 100 #1 hits.
• As reported by Billboard.com, she collected her 20 Hot 100 Top 10 singles faster than any other solo artist, six years and four months. The time span beat Madonna’s previous record (by five months), and placed Rihanna second only to the Beatles.
• “We Found Love” also notched Rihanna her 16th #1 Billboard Dance single.
• “We Found Love”’s success placed Rihanna in a very rarefied field as just the fifth woman to earn ‘20-and-over’ Top 10 hits, alongside Whitney Houston (with 23 career Top 10s), Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson (27 each), and Madonna at the top (37).
Talk That Talk’s worldwide sales of more than 4.5 million units and counting (as of early 2012), brought Rihanna’s worldwide album sales to more than 30 million. As she enters her eighth year as a Def Jam artist, Rihanna has also logged a phenomenal 120 million digital song sales, establishing her as the top selling digital artist of all time. This was underscored as far back as the Billboard Music Awards at the end of 2009, when Rihanna was named the Top Digital Song Artist Of the Decade.
Talk That Talk was the worthy follow-up to Rihanna’s previous album, Loud (November 2010). Loud’s first two singles, “What’s My Name” (featuring Drake) and “Only Girl (In the World),” were worldwide successes, both solid #1 chart-toppers in the U.S. and UK. “What’s My Name,” “Only Girl (In the World)” and “S&M” became Rihanna’s 8th, 9th, and 10th #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, respectively. With that:
• Rihanna was named the only female artist of the previous decade to chart ten #1’s on the Hot 100 as well as the youngest soloist to notch ten Hot 100 #1’s.
• “Only Girl (In the World)” became her 8th #1 Hot Dance Airplay chart hit, eclipsing Madonna’s long-standing record of seven #1’s on the Dance chart (launched in 2003).
• Rihanna also broke a record at Top 40 with the most #1’s at the format (8) in the chart’s 18 year history.
From her Caribbean roots to the top of the charts, the runways of Paris and Milan and some of the biggest stages in the world, - Including London’s O2 arena where she sold out ten concerts, the first by a female solo artist - the 24-ear-old, Barbados-born beauty has already earned the coveted title of international superstar. From her breakthrough multi-platinum album A Girl Like Me to her ubiquitous global smash “Umbrella,” in just a few short years, Rihanna helped redefine the path of popular music for a new generation.
It’s hard to imagine that just four years ago, Rihanna was a young girl living in the beautiful Barbados parish of Saint Michael. Her first connection to the music industry came when she met a vacationing music producer named Evan Rogers from New York City. After an impromptu performance for Evan, he was absolutely certain she would one day make history. Soon after, Evan and Rihanna traveled to the Big Apple in search of a record deal. It took just one meeting with Jay-Z and Antonio “L.A.” Reid for Rihanna to score her big break; Jay, who had just recently been appointed the President of Def Jam Records, was so taken by the young singer's arresting natural talent that he signed her to the legendary label on the spot.
In 2005, Def Jam released Rihanna's dynamic debut album, Music of the Sun, which garnered much attention due to the popularity of her highly addictive dancehall-flavored first single, “Pon de Replay.” A year later, she released her platinum-selling second album A Girl Like Me, featuring the #1 singles “SOS” and “Unfaithful.”
With two successful albums under her belt in just two years, Rihanna dropped her third album, the multi-platinum Good Girl Gone Bad, in 2007. The album's first single, "Umbrella," was the undisputed number one pop song of the summer and dominated the U.S. pop, urban and crossover Billboard charts for 52 weeks in a row. "Umbrella" was also the #1 single on the UK singles chart for eleven consecutive weeks and went on to win "Video of the Year" and "Monster Single of the Year" at the 2007 MTV VMAs.
The momentum established with Good Girl Gone Bad and “Umbrella” carried over to Rihanna’s next album, Rated R. Rated R was released worldwide in November 2009 and the first single, “Russian Roulette” made chart history for Rihanna – as her 12th Billboard Hot 100 career hit, placing her second (after Beyoncé) among female Hot 100 artists in the decade since 2000. The next single, “Rude Boy” (the fifth multi-platinum certified song of Rihanna’s career) hit #1 on a slew of charts – including Billboard’s Hot 100 and Hot 100 Airplay, and MediaBase’s Pop, Hot Dance Radio, Hot Dance Clubs, Rhythm, and Urban charts.
With “Rude Boy,” Rihanna became the first female artist of the past decade to chart six #1’s on the Hot 100. After “Rude Boy,” Rihanna was back on the charts as featured artist on Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” – which tied Rihanna for the most #1’s (six) on the Pop Songs Radio Airplay chart, with Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. The song also gave Rihanna her 7th #1 hit on the Hot 100, the prelude to “What’s My Name” and “Only Girl (In the World).”
Rihanna has won literally hundreds of music industry awards around the world – in the U.S. alone, she has earned multiple American Music Awards (5), ASCAP Pop Awards (11) and Rhythm & Soul Awards (7), BMI Urban Awards (9) and Pop Awards (10), BET (3) and BET Hip-hop Awards (2), Billboard Music Awards (18), MTV VMAs (3) and MTV Platinum Video Plays Awards (7), People’s Choice Awards (6), Soul Train Music Awards (2), Teen Choice Awards (4), and so on.
Rihanna’s six Grammy Awards® are especially noteworthy:
• 2007: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “ “Umbrella” (featuring Jay-Z);
• 2009: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Run This Town” with Jay-Z & Kanye West;
• 2009: Best Rap Song for “Run This Town” with Jay-Z & Kanye West;
• 2010: Best Dance Recording for “Only Girl (In The World)”;
• 2011: Best Rap Song for “All Of The Lights” by Kanye West with Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie (from Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy).
• 2011: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “All Of The Lights” by Kanye West with Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie (from Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy).
Outside the U.S., she holds multiple MOBO Awards from the UK (including Best International Act in 2007 and 2011) and multiple IFPI Awards from Europe, MTV VMAs from every region, the BRIT Award for Best International Female Artist in 2011 and 2012, Capricho Awards from Brazil, MuchMusic Video Awards from Canada, NRJ Music Awards from France, and no less than 30 Barbados Music Awards from her native country.
As her performing career soars, Rihanna continues to push boundaries in both music and fashion. She is constantly reinventing herself and has an amazing ability to identify and help set trends, thus she has become an international style icon and cover girl. Everything from her cutting edge hairstyles to her immaculate fashion sense are heavily monitored in the glossy pages of high fashion magazines worldwide.
Rihanna’s Influence is also proven by her social network stats and online views. She has the most viewed YouTube page of any solo artist with over 2 billion views. She is the biggest female artist on Facebook with over 54 million fans and she has over 17 million twitter followers. And she puts this influence to good use with her philanthropic efforts with DKMS (leukemia) American Cancer Society. Rihanna also maintains ongoing arrangements as spokesperson for Armani and Vita Coco products.
Recently, Rihanna wrapped up filming Universal's Battleship directed by Peter Berg. She will make her feature film debut alongside Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard. The film is set to be released May 2012.
Rihanna's impressive discography and a growing collection of the music industry's most cherished awards have proven that this is only the beginning. With her beauty, fashion and business sense to match, the Island girl turned international superstar will continue to rock the world for years to come. The journey continues!