Rihanna never ceases to amaze us. Be it her music, fashion, or personal life, the pop singer lives her life on her own terms, leaving her fans smitten.
On the Grammy-winning artist’s 33rd birthday, check out some surprising fun facts you might not know about Rihanna.
You’ve probably been pronouncing her name wrong
For fans who have been following RiRi since “Pon de Replay” hit the Billboard charts back in 2005, it may come as a bit of a shock that you have been mispronouncing her name for years.
Rihanna appeared in a video for British Vogue and introduced herself not as “Ree-ah-na”, but “ree-ANN-uh.”
Rihanna won a beauty pageant in high school
Rihanna grew up in Barbados and had a disturbed childhood until the age of 14. It was reported that the singer mentioned she went to a military school to complete her high school and hated going to school. In 2004, Rihanna won the Miss Combermere school beauty pageant.
Interestingly, in an interview with Daily Mail, Rihanna told the publication that her military training actually helped her to compete in the beauty pageant.
“My military training came in handy for learning to balance books on my head for the catwalk,” she said.
Rihanna signed her first record deal at 16 years old, and Jay-Z played a role in the offer
Back in 2004, 16-year-old Rihanna was an unsigned artist trying to catch the ear of the music world from her native country of Barbados. The highlight of her first demo tape was a dance track called “Pon De Replay,” “play it again” in Rih’s native Bajan Creole tongue. Rihanna auditioned the song in Jay-Z’s Def Jam office and impressed him enough to score a deal. A year later, “Pon De Replay” ascended all the way to No. 2 on the Hot 100 and spent 12 weeks in the top 10.
“Umbrella” wasn’t originally written for Rihanna
You would be surprised to know that Rihanna’s hit song wasn’t hers.
According to Vice, the song was originally written for Britney Spears, who rejected the offer. It was then offered to both Mary J. Blige and Def Jam Records. When Blige wasn’t able to finalize the deal, the record label was able to purchase the song for Rihanna.
She holds a few different Guinness World Records
It is no secret that in her music career to date, Rihanna has enjoyed remarkable success. However, did you know that in addition to her 8 Grammy awards, she has also won 6 Guinness World Records for her work in the music industry?
One of her Guinness World Records is dated back to 2014 when Rihanna dethroned the previous social media king Eminem by becoming the most “liked” person on May 16 2013 when her “like” count reached 70,738,549.
Rihanna was the first woman to launch a fashion line for LVMH
Rihanna wasn’t allowed to wear makeup growing up
Although she’s now a beauty mogul, Rihanna wasn’t allowed to wear makeup growing up.
“My mom wasn’t flexible. I wore no makeup,” she told InStyle in 2017.