Just weeks before her fifth LP, Loud, hits shelves, Rihanna is switching up her team.
The singer announced Wednesday (October 20) that she will now be managed by mentor and former Def Jam exec Jay-Z's Roc Nation company. The chart-ruling singer spilled the beans to The Associated Press, saying in a statement she's "so excited to take this next step in my career." The "Only Girl in the World" singer joins songstress Melanie Fiona, spitter Wale and DJ/producer Mark Ronson as other faces handled by the management arm of Hov's multi-pronged firm.
Aligning herself with the super-mogul and Forbes cover star is probably a smart move — not only for her music, but for her forays into the business world as well. Rihanna also told the AP that she is creating a company called Rihanna Entertainment that will "merge all of her businesses, including music, film, fragrance, fashion and book ventures."
Jay-Z and Rihanna's professional history goes back half a decade to the hip-hop mogul's brief tenure as president of Def Jam. The MC signed the then-17-year-old songbird to the storied rap imprint only hours after seeing her audition.
"We signed her that night — 3 in the morning was when that contract got signed," Jay told MTV News in 2005 of meeting the budding singer. "We wouldn't let her leave the office. From meeting her at 4 [p.m.] in the office till 3 in the morning, I was absolutely certain. That doesn't happen too often."
Although Rihanna's Barbados-bred swagger impressed the rap impresario, she said at the time that she was nervous to meet the hip-top titan and her soon-to-be-boss. However, the Brooklyn legend quickly made her feel at ease.
"When we first got there, I was shaking. I had never met a celebrity, and to have to audition for one and meet him at the same time ... I was hysterical," Rihanna said. "But the minute I went in the office, it was totally different. He was so welcoming; the environment was so warm and friendly. The jitters just went away immediately."
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