From vocalizing her disagreement with political decisions in Indiana surrounding LGBTQ+ rights to participating in the Women’s March, it seems likely that Rihanna could be an American citizen.
No, Rihanna is not an American citizen. She was born in the caribbean country of Barbados. When she was a teenager she immigrated to the US in order to sign to a record label. She does hold a green card in America, but recently moved to London, now residing in both the UK and US.
You can read more below about Rihanna’s journey immigrating to the United States and her sly move to England.
Being Discovered in Barbados
Rihanna was born on February 20, 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados. Her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty and her parents are Monica and Ronald Fenty. She attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and then went on to attend Combermere School..
Although she wanted to graduate from high school, that didn’t happen because in 2003, when Rihanna was only 15, she was discovered. Famous music producer, Evan Rogers, was in Barbados and Rihanna’s girl group trio was able to land an audition with him.
Evans has said that “The minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn’t exist. She carried herself like a star even when she was 15. But the killer was when she opened her mouth to sing.”
Moving to America & Signing to Def Jam
After being picked up by Evan Rogers, she spent the next year traveling between the US and Barbados to record her four song demo. Among the song’s on the demo was one you may have heard, Pon de Replay. It was during this period that she moved to America and began living with Rogers and his wife. Rihanna has said “I wanted to do what I had to do [to succeed], even if it meant moving to America.”
When completed, her demo was sent out to recording studios, one of which was Def Jam Recordings. Def Jam had just had Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z, appointed as President and CEO.
Jay-Z was given Rihanna’s demo by an A&R executive and initially thought that the song Pon de Replay was too big for this new artist. Despite that fact, he still invited her to audition for the record label. At the audition, all of his skepticism was thrown out the door. In an MTV News article, Jay-Z recalled “We wouldn’t let her leave the office. From meeting her at four [p.m.] in the office till three in the morning, I was absolutely certain. That doesn’t happen too often.”
You can watch the music video for Pon de Replay by following the below YouTube link.
Moving to London
Although Rihanna haS lived in the US for over a decade, the vocalist and makeup company founder secretly moved to London, England. The move has been to support all of her work, work, work, work, work. As she told New York Times Magazine in 2019, her cosmetics company, Fenty, is designed and manufactured in Europe. The move to London was in order for her to be closer to her team.
This information came to light so nonchalantly, but it appeared that not many people were in the loop and a lot of her fans felt the need to weigh in. Body positivity activist, Stephanie Yeboah, tweeted “Rihanna has really moved to London with hardly anyone knowing. Queen of Stealth.” Another fan, under the username @angelslice, tweeted “Rihanna lives in London?? I didn’t know I was this close to the queen. I’ve breathed the same London air as her! oMg!”
While Rihanna is not American, she has spent about half of her life as an immigrant in the country. It was because of her decision to move there as a teen to pursue an opportunity that she has been insanely successful; now having the means to live in both the US and UK.