She is a mix of Irish, African and Guyanese ancestry. She has two brothers, two half-sisters and a half-brother. Rihanna grew up selling clothes with her father on a street stall. Her father was addicted to crack and marijuana and her parents divorced when she was 14.
In high school, Rihanna formed a musical trio with her classmates. After an introduction to record producer Evan Rogers, Rihanna recorded a demo. The demo eventually led her to a record deal with Def Jam Recordings. Her single "Pon de Replay" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first album "Music of the Sun" was released to mixed reviews.
Other albums followed, including "A Girl Like Me," "Good Girl Gone Bad" and "Talk That Talk." "Good Girl Gone Bad" has sold over seven million copies worldwide. Her collaboration with Enimen on "Love the Way You Lie" reached number one in over twenty countries. Rihanna also sang vocals for Kayne West. Rihanna has said Madonna was her idol and biggest influence.
When on tour Rihanna prefers to live on her bus, rather than a hotel. "I hate going to hotels when I'm on tour. I like to stay on the bus. I can sleep, I can shower. I can just pull up right to the venue everyday" (Esquire.com). Before he shows, she prays. "I always pray for the crowd."
Aside from singing, Rihanna has endorsed products, such as Secret Body Spray. In 2011, she released her own fragrance, "Reb'l Fleur."
Rihanna has also segued into acting with appearances in "Battleship," "Katy Perry: Part of Me," and "End of the World."
According to Forbes, Rihanna was ranked the fourth most powerful celebrity in 2012 with earnings of $53 million between 2011 and 2011. She also has the most "likes" of any female singer on Facebook.
Of being named Esquire's "Sexiest Woman," Rihanna told Oprah, "I do not think about things like that.I don't really even understand that. It's flattering. Inaccurate, but flattering." Rihanna admitted in a Rolling Stone interview she likes to be "tied up and spanked. Being submissive in the bedroom is really fun. In there I can be a little lady and have a male who has responsibility for the situation. That's fun to me."
Rihanna told Interview Magazine, "I think a lot of people have a misperception of me. They only see the tough, defensive, aggressive side. But every woman is vulnerable. So of course I am going to have that side.I just don't like people to see me cry."
When not touring, Rihanna lives in Beverly Hills, California.