Bi**h better know every single, itty bitty detail about RiRi!
From her real name to her troublesome upbringing, we give you 40 interesting facts you may not have known about the Anti singer. If you truly want to be considered a part of Rihanna Navy, then we suggest you delve right in to our list of Rihanna facts…
1. Rihanna Isn’t Her Real Name
Oh na na, what’s her name? To her friends and family, Rihanna goes by the name ‘Robyn’. ‘Rihanna’ is actually the superstar’s middle name – Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Even her siblings’ names all start with the letter ‘R’, too. Her two younger brothers are named Rorrey and Rajad. It looks like the Kardashians aren’t the only family to keep up with this name tradition!
2. “Rihanna Day” Actually Exists
On February 21st, remember to blast your favorite RiRi music! Yes, there’s an actual day dedicated to our queen! In Barbados, that is. On February 21st 2008, RiRi’s homeland, Barbados, created a national holiday honoring the popular star. On that day, RiRi surprised fans with a free concert as a way to say thank you!
3. She Drinks Before Getting on Stage
Here’s some fun Rihanna trivia for you! She may strut her stuff on stage like the confident Bad Gal that she is, but believe it or not, the controversial star usually takes a shot to calm her nerves before giving her fans a performance!
4. Rihanna Wasn’t a Fan of ‘Pon De Replay’
That’s right. RiRi thought her first single sounded like a nursery rhyme. Well, it kinda does if you compare it to the likes of her more controversial tracks like Pour It Up or BBHMM! But that hasn’t stopped it from being a classic!
5. She Was Part of the Army Cadet Force
Now we know where she got her Bad Gal status from! Before her music career, RiRi was an Army Cadet back in Barbados and her drill sergeant was Impossible singer, Shontelle! Yet another fact about Rihanna that makes you love her even more.
6. Rihanna’s Childhood was Quite Difficult
Rihanna’s father, who was addicted to crack cocaine, alcohol and marijuana, used to abuse her mother. RiRi’s parents’ turbulent marriage ended when she was just 14-years-old. The singer admitted to Oprah in 2012 that she had to make peace with her dad in order to forgive Chris Brown for abusing her back in 2009 – “I had to forgive him because I cared about him still.”
7. She Once Worked at a Street Stall
Here’s a fun fact about Rihanna you certainly didn’t know! Thought RiRi was born into stardom? Think again. The Pour It Up singer once worked with her father selling clothes at a street stall. Little did she know that she’d one day become of the world’s best-selling artists.
8. Rihanna Won a Beauty Pageant
It looks like Rihanna’s pretty face has always got the credit it deserves! In 2004, she won the Miss Combermere school beauty pageant! Well deserved!
9. She Won a Talent Show
There’s no surprise here! When everyone’s favorite Bad Gal was 15-years-old, she won a talent show for her rendition of Mariah Carey’s Hero. Her voice in this video clip is unrecognizable! Let’s just say she’s come a long way since then!
10. An Audition in Barbados Made Her Famous
If it weren’t for music producer, Evan Rogers’ visit to Barbados, perhaps Rihanna wouldn’t be the big star that she is today. Rogers was vacationing on the island in 2003 with his wife when RiRi auditioned for him. He told Entertainment Weekly, “The minute RiRi walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn’t exist.” After that, she moved to Connecticut to kick-off her music career. When she later auditioned for rapper, Jay-Z at the age of 16, he immediately signed her to Def Jam Records and so she moved to New York.
11. Madonna is her Idol
Rihanna may be your idol, but do you know who inspires Bad Gal RiRi herself? None other than the Queen of Pop, Madonna. Her other musical influences include Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey.
12. Rihanna Was Star-Struck When She Met Jay-Z
Who wouldn’t be, right? Rihanna admitted that she was extremely shy and star-struck when she met Jay-Z for the first time. She said, “Oh God, he’s right there, I can’t look, I can’t look, I can’t look!’ I remember being extremely quiet. I was very shy. I was cold the entire time. I had butterflies. I’m sitting across from Jay-Z. Like, Jay-Zee.”
13. Ne-Yo Vocal Trained Her
That’s right! Love RiRi’s singing voice? You have Ne-Yo to thank for that! The R&B singer was the one to vocally train Rihanna during her rise to stardom. When she was in the studio, Ne-Yo would advise her on the best singing practices – “He’ll tell me how to breathe and stuff,” she once said. “And I’m like, ‘What?’ Like he’ll call out these big fancy words: ‘OK, I want you to do staccato.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, I don’t know what that is.'”
14. She’s Starred in Several Movies
Rihanna is an actress too! The music idol has starred in Bring It On: All or Nothing, All My Children, Battleship, Ocean’s 8 and plenty more! RiRi is surely a girl of many talents!
15. Rihanna Helps Terminally Ill Children
In 2006, the Umbrella singer launched the Believe Foundation, a charity to help terminally ill and disadvantaged children worldwide. In March 2008, she told People magazine, “When I was young and I would watch television and I would see all the children suffering, I always said when I grow up I want to help.”
16. She’s the Second Most Successful Female Artist Ever
You read that right! Bad Gal RiRi is officially the second best-selling female artist in the world, falling behind Madonna who is at first place. Rihanna has sold over 250 million records worldwide and has released a whopping 75 singles and eight albums.
17. She Has Insured her Legs
There’s no doubt you’ve realized how hot Rihanna’s legs are! She’s definitely got the best pair of legs in the business. In fact, she won Gillette’s Venus Breeze ”Celebrity Legs of a Goddess” award in 2007, causing her to later insure them for $1million. We can’t say that’s the craziest thing she’s done…
18. Rihanna’s Father Sold Information to the Press
One thing we know about Rihanna’s bio is that her relationship with her father hasn’t been pretty. RiRi’s father betrayed her trust when he sold information to the press about her incident with Chris Brown. Ouch! Since then, however, the father and daughter have reconciled.
19. She Wasn’t Allowed to Wear Makeup
Consider yourself lucky! When RiRi was younger, her mother wouldn’t allow her to wear makeup. Isn’t it ironic that she now has her own Fenty Beauty line and a MAC deal? She was even a Cover Girls spokesmodel!
20. She has Six Guinness World Records
Your girl is a World Record holder! And she has six of them! Indeed, Rihanna has won over five Guinness Records for “Female artist with the most U.S. number-one singles in a year” (2010); “Most digital number-one singles in the U.S.” (2010); “Most consecutive years of UK No.1 singles” (2011); “The Best Selling Digital Artist (U.S, 2012)”; “Most consecutive weeks on UK singles chart (multiple singles)” (2013); and the “Most “Liked” Person on Facebook” (2014).
21. Rihanna has Over 20 Tattoos
She may have one of the worst celebrity tattoos on our list, but the rest of Rihanna’s ink is pretty impressive. The singer has around 25 tattoos inked on her body including music notes on her foot, a gun on her ribcage, stars down her back and a falcon on her ankle.
22. She Has 8 Wax Figures Around the World
Did you know that there are a total of eight Rihanna wax figures at Madame Tussauds Wax Museums around the world? They are located in New York, Berlin, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., London, Sydney, and Vienna.
23. Rihanna’s Total Net-Worth is $550 million
Bi**h better give me some of that money! That’s right, folks! Rihanna’s total net-worth is an estimated $550 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth! She has music, business ventures and collaborations to thank for that! Feeling jealous, yet?
24. She Turned Down Offers From Playboy
Rihanna is no stranger to controversy and she may have the sexiest photos on Instagram and posed nude for Lui Magazine, but believe it or not, she has turned down the offer to pose for Playboy Magazine. Her music videos may be raunchy AF but this Bad Gal will never stoop to Playboy levels (although she clearly occasionally gives it a read).
25. There Was Trouble Whilst Filming the Video for ‘We Found Love’
The owner of the farm where the video for We Found Love was filmed demanded that Rihanna and crew should leave because he didn’t approve of their raunchy dress code. The video was rather extreme, to say the least!
26. There Was Almost Such a Thing As ‘Rihanna’s Law’
After a photo of Rihanna’s beaten face leaked from the Los Angeles Police Department following the abuse case with Chris Brown in 2009, an organization called STOParazzi proposed ‘Rihanna’s Law’, which, if enacted, would “deter employees of law enforcement agencies from releasing photos or information that exploits crime victims.”
27. She’s Dated a Bunch of Famous Guys
Your favorite pop diva has had her fair share of celebrity men! She’s dated the likes of Chris Brown, Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Matt Kemp and Drake. She has also been rumored to have dated rapper, Travis Scott. Today, however, Rihanna’s love life is all about ASAP Rocky! The duo have been together since 2020!
28. Chris Brown Got Between Rihanna and Katy Perry’s Friendship
So, we all know Rihanna and Katy Perry are the best of friends, right? She even planned Katy Perry’s bachelorette party in 2010. But their friendship came crashing down when RiRi reunited with Chris Brown in 2013, because like a lot of people, Katy disapproved. They made up though and they’re still BFFs today!
29. Rihanna Didn’t Finish High School
Do some of you ever feel bummed about not finishing high school? Who knows, you might get lucky and become the next Rihanna! The Diamonds singer actually stopped attending high school when she was just 15-years-old! This fact about Rihanna’s life makes us not feel so pessimistic about ours!
30. She’s Witnessed an Exorcism
It looks like RiRi believes in all things creepy! In fact, the singer has witnessed an exorcism with her very own eyes. She once said in an interview – “They were praying around this table. We were young though, and one of the girls, she got up and she just started screaming. I remember they locked us in the bedroom because they didn’t want kids to see that. Every time they prayed she would start screaming in the weirdest voice.”
31. She Has Other Successful Ventures
Wondering why Rihanna has such a high net worth? Music isn’t only to blame. The star also has several other ventures that help bring in the mula. In November 2015, she launched Fr8me, a styling, hair and makeup agency. Let’s not forget Fenty Beauty, which was established in 2017.
Rihanna later launched Savage X Fenty, a lingerie brand that has gained traction thanks to its use of plus size models in advertisements. Rihanna also has her Fenty Skin line as well as five fragrances, Reb’l Fleur, Rebelle, Nude, Rogue and Rogue Men, and is co-owner of Tidal.
32. She’s Passionate About Diversity in the Makeup Industry
Fenty Beauty is popular for countless reasons – it’s beautiful range of products, quality, and most importantly, the diversity of its shades. RiRi has been praised for focusing on makeup for darker skin tones and providing inclusivity in her range.
Rihanna has said: “In my own household, my father is half black, half white. My mom is black from South America. I was seeing diversity. That’s all I knew. Growing up, I wanted to be darker, always. So, making makeup, it wasn’t even a thing I had to think about. I don’t even think 40 shades is enough! And so I added 10 more recently, and we’re not gonna stop there.”
33. Rihanna’s a Dedicated Designer
There are many celebrities out there who enter the fashion world and release a clothing line by simply putting their name on it. Rihanna didn’t want that. From her Fenty clothing line to her Savage X Fenty line, she has been dedicated to learning about design, putting in the effort herself and wanting to be respected for it.
“I’m very hands-on, so I wanted to take it slowly and gain respect as a designer… I’m learning so much: about the tailoring, the fabric — I’m seeing fabrics that I’ve never seen in my life,” she said.
34. She’s a Smart Business Woman
There’s a reason why Rihanna’s side-hustles (AKA, Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty, Fenty Skin) are so successful – she’s a smart entrepreneur. She knew that it would be wiser to use “Fenty” rather than “Rihanna” when naming her brands.
In an interview for the New York Times, she said, “Every collaboration I did outside of music, I used Fenty so you didn’t have to hear the word “Rihanna” every time you saw something that I did,” she explains. “So Rihanna stayed the music, the person. But these other brands are called Fenty.”
35. Rihanna Battles with Anxiety
Despite the glitz and glam, these celebrities also suffer from mental health. Rihanna has been open about suffering from anxiety when it comes to major events. She revealed to Vogue, “Oh, I’m nervous before even getting in the car to go to something. It can be devastating. I left the Grammys one time. Left! In the middle of my hair and make-up. My hair half up, half of my lash on.”
36. She’s No Longer Friends With Drake
We all shipped Drake and Rihanna when they were a rumored couple, but it seems their relationship is no longer what it was. When asked about that infamous incident when Champagne Papi proclaimed his love for her at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2016, she said,
“The VMAs is such a fan-focused awards show, so having that energy around me, and knowing the people who had received the award in the past, made it feel like a big deal,” she recalls. “Waiting through that speech was probably the most uncomfortable part. I don’t like too many compliments; I don’t like to be put on blast. We don’t have a friendship now, but we’re not enemies either,” Rihanna said. “It is what it is.”
37. She’s Confident About her “Fat Days”
It makes us feel real good when we hear that our favorite celebs embrace their natural features. “You’ve just got to laugh at yourself, honestly. I mean, I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight. I accept all of the bodies. I’m not built like a Victoria’s Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie,” she told Vogue.
38. Rihanna is Actually a Shy Person
Call her Shy Gal RiRi! This fact about Rihanna may surprise you, but she is indeed a shy person in real life. Telling Sarah Paulson in a discussion for Interview Magazine, Rihanna disclosed, “People don’t know that I’m shy because I kind of pretend it’s not happening, people read me as being confident. But I’m so shy I don’t even want you to know I’m shy.”
39. She’s a Big Giver
Rihanna donated $5 million to relief efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The money was used for accurate testing and for effective care to patients who tested positive for the virus.
40. She Never Wanted to be a Role Model
Rihanna and her humble heart! This superstar appreciates that young girls look up to her, but she doesn’t really like to be considered a “role model”. In the Vogue interview, she declared, “That title was put on me when I was just finding my way, making mistakes in front of the world. I didn’t think it was fair. Now I understand the concept, but at that time I was the same age as the girls who were looking up to me. And that’s a really hard place to be in as a teenager.”
Indeed, there’s a lot of fun and interesting trivia about Rihanna that many fans probably didn’t know. What everyone does know, though, is that she’s a superstar of many talents who just keeps on giving (even if it means we have to wait *years and years* for another album).
Continue shining bright like a Diamond, Ri!
This article was originally published in January 2016.
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