Anybody who’d laid eyes on Rihanna when she first hit the scene knew she was destined to be a star. Not only was she beautiful, she was managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, had hits out the gate, and there’d always been this je ne sais quoi about the Caribbean singer that left people mesmerized. There’s no question fans loved her from the moment they were introduced.
Still, it was the Rihanna they’d come to know over time that really made everyone fall in love. Just a couple years after she released her first album, Rihanna’s identity began to evolve, as the rising icon opened up about the “innocent” image that had been forced on her by executives. For her third studio album, fans witnessed a freer version of the beauty. She told Entertainment Weekly in 2009 “Good Girl Gone Bad was an expression of where I am at this point in my life, where I am in my career. It just represents my rebelliousness. I got really rebellious because I was being forced into a particular innocent image and I just had to break away from that…” “I decided in myself that I’m just gonna do whatever I feel like. And it just came naturally,” she added.
More than a decade later, BadGalRi has morphed into the kind of icon that is truly beyond comparison. Many couldn’t foresee the empire Rihanna would build, but here we are — admiring the fun, edgy, multifaceted queen that she is at just 33 years old. Not only has she reinvented herself at every turn, Ri’s created real change for Black women in the beauty, fashion, and entertainment industries in the process.
Today, we celebrate the empress on her birthday. Take our quick quiz below!