By Elizabeth Lancaster
When you think of Rihanna, most people picture her fierce haircut, punk glam style and the heartbreaking story of her recovery process in the last few months since her incident with Chris Brown. What few people think of is that fact that Rihanna was just a plain 15-year-old girl when she started off, fresh off her home island of Barbados, shyly auditioning for Jay-Z to try to find a break. And a break is actually what she got — she got signed onto Def Jam Records, and her first single “Pon De Replay” was in the top 10, and as Rihanna puts it in her new interview with Glamour, she “Went to bed as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears”
Upon Rihanna’s instant success, the star’s fame has snowballed. Even now at the young age of 21, she has more sold 12 million albums, and has had four #1 hits — statistics most artists won’t see throughout their entire lives in the music industry. Arguably just as important as Rihanna’s music accomplishment, has been her social and cultural influences in the United States as well. As Rihanna describes, she has opened up her style in the last few years to really represent another creative outlet. “The Rihanna” hairstyle has blown up in the US, as well as her “mash up of Paris couture and street punk” that every downtown girl tries to replicate.
As Rihanna addresses the well-known incident with her then-boyfriend Chris Brown last February, she offers some insightful advice to younger women, and to the nation in general. She explains that she thinks “Domestic violence is a big secret,” and that women are too afraid to tell anybody about domestic violence, because they find it “embarrassing.” Inspirationally, Rihanna now feels she can be a voice for these women too afraid to speak up, and serve as a “voice that isn’t really heard.”
Returning to current day events, the artist explains that her new album is the most “personal” to date. The princess of pop also suggests that the album introduces a new genre for her, “If Lil’ Wayne and Kings of Leon like my album, then I’ll feel good” implying a cross of hip hop and alternative rock, which is definitely a new sound for RiRi. Hopefully the 21-year-old will continue to inspire through her music, fashion, and words of wisdom in her coming years of prominence.
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