Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:21:48 GMT | By Thomas Oakey
Spotlight: Rihanna

Early career

Rihanna (© Brad Barket / Getty Images)
  • Rihanna (© Getty Images)
  • Rihanna (© Brad Barket / Getty Images)
  • Rihanna (© Brian Rasic/Rex Features)
  • Rihanna (© Brian Rasic/Rex Features)
  • Rihanna (© Scott Gries/Getty Images for Universal Music)
  • Rihanna (© MIKE CASSESE/Newscom/RTR)
  • Rihanna (© Rex Features)
  • Rihanna (© MIKE BLAKE/Newscom/RTR)
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Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna began singing aged seven, after spending her childhood listening to reggae music.

Despite a turbulent childhood – her father suffered from drug addiction and her parents separated when she was 14 – Rihanna was able to start a career after meeting American record producers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers through mutual friends in 2003.

The following year, after recording demo tapes and signing to Rogers and Sturken’s Syndicated Rhythm Productions, the singer secured an audition at Def Jam records, in front of company president Jay-Z (centre).