Recognizing Rihanna’s diverse discography and rise to fame
With smash hits that continue to reach music milestones, Rihanna’s artistry does not go unnoticed.

As fans had speculated, Rihanna has distanced herself from the music industry. Although Anti, her last studio album, was released in 2016, the singer, actress, and businesswoman performed an unforgettable show at this year’s Super Bowl LVII—reminding us that despite her absence from the charts in the last six years, her success in music remains indisputable. 

Robyn Rihanna Fenty is, in my opinion, one of the most influential and successful artists of all time. Setting aside her music endeavours, Rihanna found success in the business world in 2017—with the launch of her multi-billion dollar makeup enterprise, Fenty Beauty. Through her line of high-quality products, Rihanna has reshaped society’s views on beauty. According to Time Magazine, “Fenty’s unabashed celebration of inclusivity in their makeup campaigns put an unprecedented spotlight on the need for diverse beauty products.”

Signed to her first label, Def Jam Recordings, at only 16 years old, Rihanna released her debut single, “Pon de Replay” in 2005. The hit charted top five in 11 countries and made number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs. Rihanna’s first album, Music of the Sun (2005), sold over one million copies.

Released only a year after Music of the Sun, Rihanna’s second album, A Girl like Me (2006), became an instant success and was certified platinum. The album’s lead single, “SOS,” reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100, and stayed in this crowning position for three weeks.

As she gained palpable recognition and praise, 2007 proved to be the year that would determine the popstar’s ever-growing success. Rihanna’s hit single, “Umbrella,” brought international exposure and earned her and JAY-Z a Grammy Award. Her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, exposed an artistic shift in Rihanna’s image and representation. Transforming into an edgy, sassy, and alluring figure, Rihanna showcased her growth through enticing music videos and extravagant stage performances. Taking her album’s name literally, Rihanna curated a powerful image, transforming herself from a teen star into a confident, independent woman. 

Since the reigning success of Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna has released five more studio albums. The star has collaborated with many other artists, including Sean Paul, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Shakira, Eminem, and Drake. Some of Rihanna’s biggest hits, like “Love On The Brain,” “Disturbia,” and “Don’t Stop The Music,” continue to impact pop culture and the music industry today.

Until this year’s Super Bowl half-time show, the singer had not been on stage since the 2018 Grammy Awards, where she performed “Wild Thoughts” with DJ Khaled. Since then, her performance, fashion, and dance styles have changed. Rihanna’s 2023 half-time show featured snippets of a dozen of her smash hits. Her performance incorporated pageant-inspired dance moves—choreographed by Parris Goebel—robust light effects, and an ode to Fenty Beauty, as the star playfully touched up her makeup using her own beauty products. The show surprised audiences with her second pregnancy reveal. 

Rihanna’s return to the stage this year reminded listeners that her songs are not tunes of the past. Her stance as a female artist, entrepreneur, and mother encourages women worldwide to accomplish anything they put their minds to.


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