Rihanna - Barbadian Singer, Philanthropist and Business Woman.

Rihanna is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, actress, fashion designer, philanthropist and business woman.

She began singing at a very young age, at 7 years old, influenced by the reggae music that she grew up with. In high school, she formed a band with two of her classmates, and although she initially wanted to finish her studies, she ended up dropping out to devote herself to music.

She began her career in 2003, when she met producers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. She recorded several demos in New York to send to record companies, then signed with Syndicated Rhythm Productions, Sturken and Rogers' label, in 2004. The following year, she signed a six album deal with Def Jam Recordings. Her debut album was released in August 2005 and marked her first success with over 2 million copies sold and a gold record certification.

Today, with no less than eight studio albums and two remix albums, Rihanna is one of the most popular artists in the United States and the world. She has garnered numerous awards and honors, including being named by Time magazine in 2012 as one of the world's most influential people, and by Forbes magazine in the same year as the fourth most powerful entertainment industry figure in the world. In 2021, Forbes also placed her at the top of the list of the world's richest female singers, due in large part to her influence in the fashion and beauty industries.

Regarding acting, she appeared in several films and television series in her own name, but landed her first real role in 2012, in the American science fiction film "Battelship". In 2017, she got a role in the fifth season of the series "Bates Motel". The following year, she starred in the film "Ocean's 8", a 100% female spin-off of the famous "Ocean" trilogy.
In 2022, she contributed to the soundtrack of the movie "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" with her song "Lift Me Up".

Beyond her artistic career, Rihanna is also a great philanthropist, and uses her influence to support many causes.
In 2006, she founded Believe, an organization that helps children in need around the world and provides young people with education, funding, society and medical support whenever and wherever they need it. Each year, Believe provides a cure for 10,000 people in need of a bone marrow transplant.

In 2012, she founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The Foundation invests in climate justice initiatives in the Caribbean and the United States, and helps communities prepare for and withstand natural disasters. It advocates for policy and systems change to improve the quality of life for these communities, and tailors its approach to meet the unique needs of the communities in which it works. It also addresses issues through innovative local projects and links with frontline communities, advocacy groups, policymakers and philanthropists.
Donations for the foundation are raised through its Fenty Beauty brand. As such, on the brand's website, a link is available to donate, with or without purchases, and 35% of every purchase of the CLF 3-piece makeup bag is donated to the Foundation.

Rihanna has also performed several free concerts, with proceeds going to the community. Proceeds from the Birmingham concert in 2011 were donated in full to the city of Tuscaloosa to help with its reconstruction following the tornadoes that hit Alabama. In 2012, she sang at the Grammy Awards with Calvin Harris in a benefit concert to raise money for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.

She donates several million Barbadian dollars to the radiation therapy department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, named the Clara Bratwaithe Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Center, in honor of her grandmother who died of cancer.En 2013, suite au Typhon Haiyan qui frappe les Philippines, Rihanna reverse 100 000 dollars à l’UNICEF et à la campagne There For the Philippines.

In 2014, Rihanna became the face of MAC's Viva Glam lipstick collection. The profits of the collection are donated to the MAC Aids Fund which fights against AIDS and HIV.
That same year, she partnered with restaurant chain Hard Rock Cafe to sell a line of t-shirts and stage outfits with all proceeds going to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of children with leukemia.

In 2018, the governor of the island of Barbados appointed Rihanna as Ambassador "extraordinary and plenipotentiary", then, in 2021, on the occasion of the proclamation of the country's republic, she was elevated to the rank of "National Hero of Barbados".

Rihanna has also become an accomplished and successful businesswoman. She created her cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty in 2017, followed by the Savage x Fenty lingerie line in 2018, ready-to-wear Fenty Fashion the following year and a skincare line Fenty Skin in 2020.

Committed to building her business in accordance with her values, her brand Fenty is inclusive, with a wide variety of products for all skin types, sizes and shapes. She was inspired to create Fenty by her years of "experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty", but also by "still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones". Rihanna launched a makeup line "so that people everywhere would be included".
"Makeup is there for you to have fun with. It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different." – Rihanna

This diversity is reflected in Fenty's marketing campaigns, with models of all ethnicities and colors, but also of all genders, both male and female, being highlighted.
Nevertheless, Rihanna has received several criticisms about the lack of transgender models to promote her brand. She responded to these criticisms by emphasizing her desire to respect everyone's privacy and to avoid "tokenism" (a practice of making token efforts to include minority groups in order to avoid accusations of discrimination).
"I worked with many gifted trans women throughout the years. However, I don't go around doing trans castings. Just like I don't do straight non-trans women castings. I respect all women, and whether they're trans or not is none of my business. It's personal and some trans women are more comfortable being open about it than others so I have to respect that as a woman myself. I don't think it's fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool." – Rihanna

Her brand is also guaranteed to be "cruelty free", although she does not have the certification.
To wit: the cruelty-free certification is a paying label that is granted to a brand when it meets all the necessary requirements. It is issued by PETA, the international organization that fights against animal exploitation and cruelty, but is not mandatory: when a brand is cruelty-free, it can choose to be officially certified or not. The most famous logo certifying the absence of animal testing is PETA's "leaping bunny".
Thus, whether it is the brand itself, the suppliers or third parties, no tests are carried out on animals, neither for the finished products nor for the ingredients. It also does not sell its products in countries where animal testing is required by law.

Fenty Beauty was honored in 2017 with the WWD Beauty Inc. award for Prestige Launch of the Year. The brand was also included in Time magazine's list of the top 25 inventions of 2017.

In 2006, prior to her Fenty brand, Rihanna released her very first fragrance, "Clinique Happy". She promoted it with the recording of the song Just Be Happy, a cover of the songwriter Ne-Yo. She will release seven fragrances overall: "Reb'l Fleur" in 2011, alongside the slogan "Bad Feels So Good" ; "Rebelle" and "Nude" in 2012 ; "Rogue" in 2013 ; and "Rogue Man" and "Rogue Love" in 2014.

In 2008, Rihanna joined the team of the luxury brand Gucci to promote the Tattoo Heart collection. 25% of the collection's profits are donated to UNICEF.
Following the success of her song "Umbrella", she launched her own collection of umbrellas and partnered with Totes and Macy's to promote it.
She also collaborated with the cosmetics brand MAC to launch a makeup line called "RiRi Hearts MAC". Declined in several lines of products and two Viva Glam collections, the entirety of the profits are donated to the MAC Aids Fund.

In 2011, the renowned brand Armani unveils a collection of clothing and underwear signed Rihanna. Rihanna created the collections with collaborators from Armani Jeans and Emporio Amarni Underwear. Following this success, she partnered again with Armani in 2012, and also released the following year four collections (spring, summer, fall and winter) with the clothing brand River Island.
In 2014, she signed a contract with the sportswear brand Puma, an alliance that gave birth to "Fenty x Puma", a clothing collection in collaboration with her own brand Fenty.
In 2015, Rihanna collaborated with the Parisian haute couture house Dior, making her the brand's first ever black ambassador. Together with Dior, she created an exclusive collection of futuristic eyewear, released in 2016. That same year, she teamed up with Spanish women's shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, and the following year created a jewelry line with Swiss luxury watch company Chopard.

Throughout her career, Rihanna has garnered no less than 350 awards, primarily in the music industry, but also as a businesswoman and woman of influence.
She is considered the world's best-selling solo artist, the artist with the most certified singles, the first artist in the world to reach 100 million digital sales in the U.S., and the artist with the most digital sales in the world. She is also the artist with the most No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since the early 2000s, with 14 charted tracks.
She appeared twice in the famous Guinness Book of World Records: first in 2013 thanks to her 47.57 million copies of digital singles sold in the United States ; then in 2014, as the most liked personality on Facebook (surpassing the rap artist Eminem) and as the artist with the most consecutive weeks in the Top 70 in the United Kingdom chart. The latter record makes her the second artist, after the Beatles, to have four singles that have reached one million sales in the country, and the second female artist, after Madonna, in terms of singles sales (11.4 million).





🎥 Video: Rihanna named Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year in 2017


Article by Julie Poutrel for Adama Toulon.