- 12:01 PM, Jun 22
Born as Robyn Rihanna Fenty in 1988 in Barbados, Rihanna was like any other teenage girls of her age who attended high school and loved to sing for fun together with some friends. It all began to change drastically after she was introduced to Evan Rogers, a New York City music producer who is also the owner of Syndicated Rhythm Productions. Rogers and his Barbadian wife named Jackie happened to be in Barbados to spend their 2003 Christmas vacation near St. Michael, Rihanna's hometown. Impressed with her amazing voice, Rogers offered Rihanna to record some tracks in New York by spring.
Together with Rogers and his partner, Carl Sturken, Rihanna composed almost a dozen songs, taking inspiration from dancehall and ragamuffin which are the musical culture of her origin and blended them with R&B tunes. "My music is mostly Caribbean beats mixed with R&B," she described eagerly. "I don't want to be pigeon holed into being just a dance artist because I can sing too. I have ballads on the album as well as upbeat tracks."
Looking for a label, Rihanna landed her feet at Def Jam Recordings in which Shawn Carter or popularly known as Jay-Z has become the president as well as its CEO. Upon witnessing her performance, the acclaimed rapper quickly offered her a recording contract on the spot. She afterwards set out to collect materials for her debut album, co-writing most of its tracks. "Pon De Replay" eventually was released on May 25, 2005. The single turned out to be a great piece of music as it was labeled one of the summer's hottest jams in U.S..
Achieving success with "Pon De Replay," Rihanna put her hopes to repeat the same attainment on her first album "Music of the Sun" which was launched on August 30, 2005. With tracks featuring both Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, it provided some serious heat to burn either radio stations or clubs throughout the country. It was truly like a dream coming true for the enchanting performer. "If I hadn't met Evan and Carl I might have just been dreaming forever. I am so thankful for everything they've done for me," Rihanna said gratefully. Dream or no dream, her debut album, recorded by RIAA, received Gold in U.S. and Platinum in several other countries. She was soon the highly anticipated act that Gwen Stefani tapped her to open her tour.