Rihanna: A career timeline 🎶 (2022)

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Get to know the Barbadian singer, songwriter, actress, make-up mogul, fashion icon and all round QUEEN 👑

Author: Georgie HollandPublished 29th Mar 2022
Last updated 6th Apr 2022

Queen Riri...where to begin. Born on 20th February 1988, fresh faced Robyn Rihanna Fenty was just 16-years-old she began her journey to super-stardom. Since then, this beauty - who is now a BILLIONAIRE, btw - has proved to us all that the sky is the limit when it comes to her talents, from singing to songwriting, collaborating to hit-making, acting to make-up, there's no limit to what this mum-to-be can do!

Yep, you read that correctly - Rihanna is set to become a mum for the first time, with the star confirming that she is pregnant with her first child, alongside boyfriend A$AP Rocky.

The world is patiently waiting for new music from the superstar, which she described as being "worth the wait" and has reassured fans that her pregnancy announcement doesn't change her plans to release new music.

We can't wait to hear new material from the pop legend, and in the meantime we've taken the liberty of gathering together all of RiRi's most iconic career moments - you know, just in case you missed them...

Rihanna's biggest career moments so far:

2005: First signing

In 2005, Rihanna was discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers in her home country of Barbados. The 16-year-old's demo was then sent to Def Jam Recordings, where it was played to the company's new CEO Jay-Z. Jay-Z invited Rihanna to audition and RiRi left the audition with a six album record deal... easy as that!

2005: 'Pon de Replay'

It wasn't long before RiRi then released her first album 'Music of the Sun', which sold over two million copies worldwide. It was then in May 2005 the world was graced with the anthem that is 'Pon de Replay' - meaning 'play it again' in Bajan Creole, one of the official languages of Rihanna's home country Barbados. The track had appeared on her original demo that landed her that record deal. The song sold a whopping two million copies, charting top 10 in the UK, US and across the globe.

2006: Ri's first Number 1 single

2006 saw the release of Rihanna's second studio album 'A Girl Like Me', containing bangers such as 'Unfaithful' and 'We Ride'. The album also featured what became her first ever number 1 single 'SOS'.

2007: 'Good Girl Gone Bad'

2007 saw Rihanna go from teen-popstar to legendary icon. With the release of the chart topping hit 'Umbrella', RiRi showcased her new, sleek look that has been described by critics as a turning point in her career. The star well and truly ditched her innocent teen look, opting for an edgier, bad girl vibe.

2008: Rihanna's first grammy

After receiving four nominations for the 2008 GRAMMYs, including 'Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals', 'Record of the Year' and 'Best Dance Recording', Rihanna walked away from the annual award ceremony the winner of the 'Best Rap/Sung Performance' award - her first ever GRAMMY crown!

2009: 'Rated R'

2009 warmly welcomed the hard-hitting album 'Rated R', including hits such as 'Rude Boy', 'Te Amo' and 'Russian Roulette'. The mature album reflected on the star's recent struggles and was described by critics as her most layered and heartfelt effort.

2010: 'LOUD'

Now 2010 was quite the year for this superstar; after ditching her signature dark hair, the star opted for a vibrant red do. Oh, and she also released her fifth studio album 'Loud' that landed her her first ever GRAMMY nomination for 'Album of the Year', featuring her and Drizzy Drake collab for the first time ever. The legendary collab 'What's My Name' featured on the album alongside 'S&M', 'Only Girl (In The World)' and 'Love The Way You Lie (Part II)'. Since then, Rihanna and Drake have gone on to team up on multiple other tunes, including 'Take Care'.

2011: 'We Found Love'

In 2011 the world welcomed with open arms one of Rihanna's most iconic songs 'We Found Love'. Featuring on her sixth studio album 'Talk That Talk', the star teamed up with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris to produce this, how do you say it... masterpiece. Other than becoming a staple song at any teen disco and/or house-party, the song went on to win the singer awards for 'Best R&B/Urban Dance Track', 'Best Commercial/Pop Dance Track', 'Video Of The Year' and 'Best Short Form Music Video'. WOWZA.

2012: Acting career begins with Battleship

Queen Ri's talent didn't stop there. In 2012 the Barbadian beauty made her big screen debut in summer blockbuster 'Battleship' as Petty Officer Cora Raikes. This lead to her winning the Teen Choice Award for 'Choice Movie Breakout Star - Female'.

2012: First number 1 album

That same year (2017) Rihanna's seventh studio album 'Unapologetic' became her first No. 1 album, winning her the GRAMMY for 'Best Urban Contemporary Album' in January 2014. The album boasts hit tracks such as 'Diamonds' and 'What Now'. Also featured on the album was the incredible 'Stay', which after being released as a single from the album made no. 1 in Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic and Denmark, as well as charting in the Top 5 in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

2013 - 2014: Win win win!

Throughout 2013 and 2014, Rihanna took the crown for various awards, including the GRAMMY Award for 'Best Music Video', the Billboard Music Award for 'Top R&B Artist', 'Top R&B Song' AND 'Top R&B Album', the NRJ Music Award for 'International Female Artist of the Year', the BET Award for 'Best Female R&B/Pop Artist' and the GRAMMY Award for 'Best Urban Contemporary Album'...you know, just to name a few.

2014: Puma

2014 saw the superstar named the creative director of, and a brand ambassador for, Puma. These roles lead to her launching the 'Fenty x Puma' range, responsible for fashion trends such as fur sliders and suede creepers.

2016: 'Anti'

After three years of waiting, fans were not disappointed with Rihanna's surprise release of 'Anti' - her eighth studio album. Shooting to number 1 just two weeks after its initial debut, going on to spend 159 weeks on the Billboard Hot 200. 'Anti' graced us with hits such as 'Work', 'Kiss It Better' and 'Love on the Brain'.

2017: The launch of Fenty Beauty

Welcoming 2017 by being awarded Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard University, it was set to be a good year for the singer/actor/fashionista extraordinaire with her also launching her incredibly successful beauty line Fenty Beauty. September 8th, 2017 saw the line officially hit Sephora's website. The line was praised for boasting 40 different foundation shades, with many describing this as the new 'standard of inclusivity for skin tones'. Fenty Beauty went onto be listed by Time Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2017. The brand has gone onto release body shimmers, eye shadows, highlighters, concealers and the infamous Fenty Beauty Fairy Bomb (ie a massive fluffy pink pom pom full of glitter).

2018: Savage Fenty

In 2018, the the popstar-turned-entrepreneur launched her largely anticipated lingerie line 'Savage x Fenty'. The collection was launched with 90 pieces of lingerie, sleepwear, and accessories with an extensive sizing range. "I can only hope to encourage confidence and strength by showing lingerie in another light," she told Vogue.


In March 2020, Rihanna finally gave us some music when she teamed up with PARTYNEXTDOOR on the hit 'BELIEVE IT'.

2020: Fenty Skin

In July 2020, Rihanna announced the launch of beauty brand Fenty Skin. Sharing a video of herself using all the products she wrote, 'Ima try my best to be humble about this but, @fentyskin is coming July 31st exclusively at FENTYSKIN.COM!! "Y'all ain't hear it from me 🤫 but you can shop it early if ya drop me your email through the link in my bio...'. (sic)
It was then in December 2020 that the range became available in the UK.

2021: Rihanna's new music

With Rihanna's last album, 'Anti', being released way back in 2016, it's no secret that RiRi fans are desperate for new music from the star! In 2019 reports broke that Rihanna was working on her ninth album, with the singer revealing to Vogue in 2020 that she was "very aggressively working on music", with her new material being on a "different level" and "worth the wait". After Rihanna's savage response to a fan requesting her new album in 2021, here's hoping that we get to hear it soon!

2021: Rihanna is officially a BILLIONAIRE

Queen RiRi was announced as a billionaire in August 2021. She's now worth an estimated £1.2 billion according to Forbes, making her the wealthiest female musician on the planet due to her shares in Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty. She's now the second richest female entertainer behind Oprah Winfrey.

2022: Rihanna pledges $15million to help climate change

In January 2022, it was revealed that Rihanna pledged $15 million (£11.1million) to fighting for climate justice through her Clara Lionel Foundation, which is named after her grandparents. The donations were spread across 18 climate justice organisations working in seven Caribbean nations and the US.

2022: Rihanna promises new music following pregnancy announcement

Rihanna sent her fans into a frenzy as she revealed that she was pregnant in January 2022, with the singer expecting her first child with her boyfriend A$AP Rocky.

The exciting announcement had many fans thinking that they would have to wait a little bit longer for new music from RiRi, however the singer put all our minds at ease as she revealed that despite expecting baby No.1, we will still get new music from her. She said: "Yes, you're still going to get music from me." before joking: "My fans would kill me if they waited this long for a lullaby!"

2022: Rihanna makes debut on Forbes billionaires list

Despite Forbes revealing in 2021 that Rihanna was officially a billionaire, it wasn't until April 2022 that the singer was officially listed in the business magazine's billionaires list. Forbes reported Rihanna's fortune to be around £1,400,000,000.

Ranking at number 1729 (on 5th April), the singer joins the Forbes billionaires list alongside other huge names such as Kanye West, Jay-Z and director Peter Jackson.

Despite covering almost all bases when it comes to expressing her never-ending talents, we're sure there will still be more to come! You go, girl!

Now read:

Rihanna's biggest and best collabs to date

Rihanna expecting her first child with A$AP Rocky

Rihanna had a savage response to fan requesting a new album in 2021👀

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