Happy birthday, Rihanna! Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados. Now, at the age of 35, the birthday girl has already sold over 250 million records, making her one of the most successful recording artists of all time.
And her shining success doesn’t stop at her music. Rihanna has also made huge strides in fashion and film, as well as recently performing on one of the biggest stages of them all: the Super Bowl halftime show. Take a look at some of Rihanna’s biggest achievements in her career.
“Pon de Replay” (2005)
“Pon de Replay” was part of Rihanna’s demo tape sent to Def Jam Recordings. Executive L.A. Reid was so impressed with the singer that he requested she not leave the building until she signed with the company. Once signed to Def Jam, Rihanna released “Pon de Replay” as her debut single at only 17 years old.
Built from a sample of Soft Cell’s 1981 recording of “Tainted Love,” the high-energy dance-pop track “SOS” exploded on both dance floors and the charts. Rihanna’s first of many number-one hits spent three weeks at the top spot and remained in the charts for 28 weeks.
If you want to listen to more Rihanna throwbacks, then check out Pop2K (Ch. 10).
“Umbrella” ft. Jay-Z (2007)
The success of this GRAMMY-winning song was widespread. The smash hit reached the top spot in several countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, where it spent an impressive ten weeks at number one. The song was also a success with the critics, with Rihanna and Jay-Z winning the GRAMMY Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, as well as receiving nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
First ‘Saturday Night Live’ Performance (2009)
Rihanna took to the famous Studio 8H stage for the first time to perform her singles “Russian Roulette” and “Hard” live from New York in 2009. She would go on to appear as a musical guest four more times and even tested out her comedy skills with some sketches, including this SNL Digital Short with Andy Samberg and Jon Hamm in 2010:
Although Rihanna’s initial six albums enjoyed immense success, her first to reach number one in the US was Unapologetic. Charting for a crazy 67 weeks, the album contains a host of the artist’s most iconic songs, including “Diamonds,” “Pour It Up,” and “Stay” featuring Mikky Ekko.
To sing along to Rihanna’s top tracks of the 2010s, head to The 10s Spot (Ch. 11).
Icon Award (2013)
Rihanna made history when she was given the first-ever Icon Award at the American Music Awards. The exclusive title is given to an artist whose work has profoundly influenced pop music globally. The award has only ever been gifted to one other artist, Lionel Richie, so Rihanna is in great company.
Fenty Beauty (2017)
Having previously entered the world of makeup through a collaboration with MAC, Rihanna launched her own cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, in 2017. Created to provide products for all skin tones, Fenty Beauty has enjoyed great success and has been valued at over $2.6 billion. Rihanna has since founded her lingerie company, Savage x Fenty, which is also making waves in the fashion industry.
Ocean’s 8 (2018)
By 2018, Rihanna had already honed her acting skills in a host of Hollywood films including Battleship, Home, and This Is The End. But one of Rihanna’s biggest achievements was Ocean’s 8, where she played the part of security hacker Nine Ball and held her own alongside a star-studded cast that included Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway.
Super Bowl Halftime Show (2023)
Making a remarkable return from her music hiatus, Rihanna performed at State Farm Stadium in what was her first performance in five years. At Super Bowl LVII, Rihanna sang her heart out to some of her biggest hits, and she did the whole thing while pregnant! It’s safe to say that she put on quite a show, and that she should definitely take a bow.
Rihanna’s biggest achievements list could go on and on. Based on her recent Super Bowl performance, it looks like she’s continuing to go from strength to strength. For all the latest in music, make sure to check out SiriusXM.
Music, Sports, News and more
All in one place on the SiriusXM app