Rihanna’s 10 most defining moments
From her first Grammy to billionaire status
Robyn Rihanna Fenty is one of the most influential stars of this generation, with a massive string of record-breaking achievements and success behind her.
It was recently announced that the iconic entrepreneur, billionaire, and humanitarian is expecting her first child, so to honor this massive milestone, the research team at SlotsUp have rounded up Rihanna’s 10 most defining moments — from her first Grammy win, to her blow-up to billionaire status.
2005: Rihanna was signed to Jay-Z's label, Def Jam.
In December 2004, a 16 year old Rihanna recorded the dance-pop, Caribbean-infused jam "Pon de Replay" and sent the song off to several record labels.
The demo then became her debut song as an artist after reaching the president of Def Jam, Jay-Z. Rihanna (who at the time went by Robyn) was flown to meet with Jay-Z and executives at the label — signing the contract of her dreams at the tender age of just 16.
The record became an immediate hit when it hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2005, when Rihanna was only 17 years old.
2008: Rihanna takes home her first Grammy
Rihanna took home her very first golden gramophone at the 50th annual Grammy Awards, which was the first time she was recognized by the Recording Academy.
On February 10, 2008, Rihanna and Jay-Z took home the trophy for best rap/song collaboration with their massive No.1 hit “Umbrella”, from RiRi’s 2007 album, Good Girl Gone Bad.
Rihanna earned four nominations in total that night, and "Umbrella" was also nominated for record of the year, but lost to "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse.
2012: Unapologetic becomes Rihanna's first No.1 album
The singer had a string of No.1 hits after her first with “SOS” in 2006. In the following seven years, she then went on to top the charts with hits like “Take a bow”, “Disturbia”, “Rude Boy”, “We Found Love”, and “Diamonds”.
At age 23, Rihanna was the youngest artist in history to achieve 10 number one hits.
Unapologetic shot straight to the top of the Billboard 200, becoming Rihanna's first No. 1 album, and went on to win the Grammy for best urban contemporary album on January 26, 2014.
2014: Rihanna receives CFDA award for Fashion Icon
By 2014, Rihanna had made her mark in the music business as a platinum-selling singer, and she’d also starting to establish herself as a true fashion icon.
Rihanna’s beginnings as a fashion mogul date back all the way back to 2014, when she signed on to be creative director and ambassador for Puma and went on to collaborate with Fenty x Puma.
Rihanna then received the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers) award for Fashion Icon on June 2nd, 2014. She walked the carpet in a sheer, sparkling gown covered in Swarovski crystals.
She then went on to win the “Best Dressed” red carpet look at MET Gala in 2015, the theme being China: Through The Looking Glass.
The dress was designed by Guo Pei, a Chinese fashion designer. It took two years to make it since Pei hand-made the gown all by herself.
2017: Rihanna named Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year
In 2012, Rihanna founded the ‘Clara Lionel Foundation’, her own non-profit organization. Since then Rihanna has used her platform to speak out about access to education, winning her the Harvard Humanitarian of the Year award.
Throughout her career, Rihanna has shown solidarity with several social movements around the world — showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the Sudanese Revolution — she’s also protested for LGBT+ rights.
2017: Rihanna founds Fenty Beauty
Before she was BadGalRiRi: music, fashion and beauty icon, Robyn Rihanna Fenty was a little girl in Barbados transfixed by her mother’s lipstick.
So, after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty, and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones, Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty on September 8th, 2017 — creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.
Focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, the brand is popular for its broad inclusivity, especially its Pro Filt’R foundation. The original foundation launch included 40 shades, since expanded to 50.
Today, according to Forbes, Fenty Beauty is valued at $2.8 billion.
2018: Rihanna founds Savage X Fenty
Savage X Fenty, which was launched by Rihanna 11th May 2018, has disrupted the lingerie industry as we know it. With accessible price points and an extensive range of fashion-forward styles, the brand celebrates fearlessness, confidence and inclusivity.
Her Savage X Fenty shows and campaigns have been from the beginning a clever celebration of difference — showcasing women of different weight, height, cultures, and races.
“We want to make people look good and feel good,” explains Rihanna, who approaches Savage X with the same mentality she does in all her projects—to make something new and fresh that everyone can relate to and feel confident in.
Savage x Fenty is now worth around $270 million, and has redefined 'sexy', taking the lingerie industry by storm.
2018: Rihanna stars in Hollywood Film, Oceans 8
The iconic superstar's various acting roles in both film and television have showcased her versatility and superb talent aside from music, fashion, and beauty ventures.
From her early work such as Bring It On: All or Nothing, she has appeared in major roles in Battleship (2012), Home (2015), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017). But her role as as ‘Nine Ball’, a bad*ss hacker in the 2018 Hollywood hit film Oceans 8, was perfect for the star.
Alongside heist leaders Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, Rihanna plays her role perfectly, as she attempts to pull off a heist at New York City’s star-studded Met Gala.
Ocean’s 8 had a total worldwide gross of $297.7 million.
2021: Rihanna is now officially a billionaire
On August 4th, 2021, Rihanna was officially declared a billionaire by Forbes. The star is now the wealthiest female musician in the world and the second richest female entertainer behind Oprah Winfrey.
According to Forbes, Rihanna was revealed to be worth $1.7bn at 33 years old. Whilst she became a household name for her smash music hits, it was the success of Fenty Beauty that has launched her into billionaire status, giving the "Bitch Better Have My Money" singer's 50% ownership a $1.4 billion price tag.
For Interview Magazine in June 2019, Rihanna said that “with every business outlet, I’m making something from a vision to a reality, and that’s the thing I really enjoy. Music has led me to these other outlets, and to things that I genuinely love.
“I used to be in the studio for three months straight, and an album would come out,” she said. “Now, it’s like a carousel. I do fashion one day, lingerie the next, beauty the next, then music the next.”
2022: Rihanna announces her pregnancy
It’s babies on the brain for this superstar as on January 30th, 2022, Rihanna debuted her baby bump while out in New York City with her rapper boyfriend, A$AP Rocky.
The debut landed days after Rihanna’s fans observed the sixth anniversary of the singer’s last studio album, 2016’s Anti.
Rihanna previously opened up about family planning, telling British Vogue in March 2020 that within the next 10 years she sees herself having "three or four" children, whether she has a partner or not. Congratulations, RiRi!