Her music was marketed within the reggae genres because of her Caribbean descent. The album received mixed reviews by music critics. Rolling Stone magazine rated it 2.5 out of 5 stars and described as lacking the replay value, ingenuity and rhythm of the single with "generic vocal hiccups and frills" of US R&B inflecting upon her "Caribbean charm". Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine described the album as a "glut of teen R&B chanteuses " and described her lead single "Pon de Replay" as "a dancehall-pop mixture that owes plenty of its sweat and shimmy to Beyoncé's "Baby Boy". A reviewer for Entertainment Weekly commented that the "dancehall/R&B debut is filled with chintzy production and maudlin arrangements that block out the Music of the Sun." The albums second single, "If It's Lovin' that You Want" was less successful than "Pon de Replay", having managed a peak position of number thirty-six in the United States, and number eleven in the United Kingdom. The single proved to be well-received in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand reaching the top ten in those countries.
After signing with Def Jam, she spent the next three months recording and completing her debut album. The album featured production from Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken, Stargate and Poke & Tone. She first collaborated with rapper Memphis Bleek on his fourth studio album 534 before her debut. She released her debut single, "Pon de Replay", on August 22, 2005, which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. It became a global hit where it peaked within the top ten across fifteen countries. Her debut album, Music of the Sun, was released in August 2005 in the United States. The album reached number ten on the Billboard 200, selling 69,000 copies in its first week. The album sold over two million copies worldwide and received a Gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America, denoting shipments to US retailers of over 500,000 units. In January 2005, Rogers began shopping Rihanna's four-song demo to various recording companies. A copy of the demo was sent to Def Jam Recordings, where Jay Brown, an A&R executive, overheard it and played it for the label's then-president, Jay-Z. When he heard "Pon de Replay", Jay-Z was skeptical about Rihanna at first because he felt that the song was too big for her, stating that "when a song is that big, it's hard [for a new artist] to come back from. I don't sign songs, I sign artists". Def Jam was the first label to respond and invited her to audition where she sang "For the Love of You" for L.A. Reid of Island Def Jam Music Group and Jay-Z. She was signed the same day and canceled a set of meetings with other labels. After signing with Def Jam in February 2005, she relocated in the United States and moved in with Rogers and his wife. Although she still thinks of herself as Robyn, she chose her middle name as her stage name because to her, the name Rihanna is just a stage that started in a recording studio in 2005.
In December 2003, Rihanna met American music producer Evan Rogers through a mutual friend, who knew Rogers' wife, when he and his Bajan-born wife were in Barbados for the holidays. Rihanna and her two bandmates auditioned for Rogers in his hotel room, who said that "the minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn't exist." While auditioning for Rogers, she sang Destiny's Child's cover of "Emotion". Impressed, Rogers set up a second meeting, with her mom present, and invited her to do some recording and write with him and Carl Sturken at their studio in New York. Shortly after turning 16, she won the Miss Combermere school beauty pageant and her high school talent show with a performance of Mariah Carey's "Hero". Over the next year, Rihanna and her mom shuttled back and forth to Rogers' home in Stamford, Connecticut. With the help of Sturken, she recorded a four-song demo, which included the ballad "Last Time", a cover of Whitney Houston's "For the Love of You", and what would become her first hit, "Pon de Replay". It took a year to record the demos, because Rihanna was going to school and would only record during summer and Christmas school breaks.
In 2005, Rihanna released her debut studio album, Music of the Sun, which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart and features the Billboard Hot 100 hit single "Pon de Replay." Less than a year later, she released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006), which peaked within the top five of the Billboard albums chart, and produced her first Hot 100 number one single, "SOS". Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), spawned four chart-topping singles "Umbrella", "Take a Bow", "Disturbia" and "Don't Stop the Music", and was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella," which features Jay-Z. Her fourth studio album Rated R, released in November 2009, produced the top 10 singles "Russian Roulette", "Hard" and "Rude Boy", which achieved the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Loud (2010), her fifth studio album, contains the number-one hits "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?" and "S&M".
Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), better known as simply Rihanna (pronounced /riˈɑːnə/ ree-ah-nə or /riˈænə/ ree-an-ə), is a Barbadian R&B recording artist. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a recording career under the guidance of record producer Evan Rogers. She subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for then-label head Jay-Z.
A month after the release of her debut album, she began working on her second studio album. The album contained production from record producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken who produced most of her debut album, Stargate, J. R. Rotem and label-mate singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. While recording the album, Rihanna served as an opening act for Gwen Stefani to promote her debut album. The lead single, "SOS", peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first number-one in the United States. A Girl Like Me was released in April 2006, less than eight months after her debut. The album reached number five on the Billboard 200 selling 115,000 copies in its first week and has been certified platinum by the RIAA, having shipped over one million units. Internationally, the album peaked at number one on the Top Canadian Albums, five on the UK Albums Chart and number five on the Irish Album Chart. The critical response to the album was mixed; Rolling Stone magazine commented "Like her filler-packed debut album, this similar but superior follow-up doesn't deliver anything else as ingenious as its lead single." Critics described the album as a record that almost identically alternates between the sunny dancehall/dub-pop, hip-hop-infused club bangers and gushy, adult-oriented ballads. The second single, "Unfaithful", became a major worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in dozen countries around the world, including the United States where it reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as topping the charts in Canada, France and Switzerland. The albums third single, "We Ride" failed to reprise the success of the lead single but the fourth single, "Break It Off" featuring Sean Paul, jumped from number fifty-two to number ten eventually peaking at number nine. After the release of the album, Rihanna embarked on her first headlining tour, the Rihanna: Live in Concert Tour. She then embarked on the Rock The Block Tour and then toured with Pussycat Dolls from November 2006 to February 2007 in the United Kingdom. Rihanna also made her acting debut in a cameo role in the straight-to-DVD film Bring It On: All or Nothing, which was released on August 8, 2006.
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