Name at birth: Robyn Rihanna Fenty
Rihanna's tom-tom-driven single "Pon De Replay" was one of the dance hits of 2005. Rihanna was only 17, but the next year she was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award as best new artist and her career was off and running. Her first album, Music of the Sun (2005, including "Pon De Replay"), mixed reggae-tinged pop with slick R&B grooves and sold over a million copies. Her second album, A Girl Like Me, included the upbeat single "S.O.S." and was released in 2006. Rihanna also dipped her toe in the acting world in 2006, with a small part as herself in the direct-to-DVD cheerleader flick Bring It On: All or Nothing. In 2007 she again had big summer singles with the slow-stepping "Umbrella" (with rapper Jay-Z) and the club-happy hymn "Don't Stop the Music," both from her album Good Girl Gone Bad. "Umbrella" in particular caught on, so much so that Rihanna put her name on a signature line of umbrellas the next year. Her 2009 album Rated R included the hit single "Russian Roulette," and her 2010 album Loud and 2011 album Talk That Talk played up her party-loving bad-girl image.
Rihanna dated R&B singer Chris Brown until February of 2009, when she called police and accused him of beating her in their car after a pre-Grammy Awards party. Brown later pleaded guilty to a charge of felony assault in exchange for a sentence of five years of probation.