Rihanna has been a chart topping performer since the early 2000s, but what was her first song?
Rihanna’s first-ever song was titled Pon de Replay and was recorded while she was still in school. The track featured on Rihanna’s first-ever demo tape that she and her mother sent to record labels.
Read on to learn more about Rihanna’s musical beginnings.
Rihanna grew up in the beautiful Caribbean paradise of Barbados. She was surrounded by white beaches, blue sea and gleaming sunshine. The local culture influenced her heavily, and she listened to reggae music when growing up.
However, Rihanna wasn’t without her struggles in her younger life. She worked with her father on the street to sell clothing from a stall from a young age. Her father was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine, something which put great strain on the family.
He would reportedly beat Rihanna’s mother, and she’d find herself in the middle of them, trying to diffuse the situation. She suffered heavily with headaches as a child and young teenager, to the bafflement of medical services. In a bizarre turn, the headaches vanished when her parents divorced.
When Rihanna was around sixteen years old, she began experimenting with music in earnest. Together with two school friends, she started a small-time musical trio. They were subsequently discovered by a record producer, which would be Rihanna’s first taste of success.
Apparently, Rihanna was a stand-out star, even among her friends. This record producer, Evan Rogers, insisted Rihanna perform a solo audition. Shortly after, they recorded demo tapes together, and posted them around to record labels.
This is where Rihanna’s first song came about. In May 2005, Pon De Replay was officially released and served as her first single. The single was created for her demo tape that was posted around to various record labels.
One of the earliest recipients – and responses – to this tape was Jay-Z, of Def Jam Recordings. He requested that Rihanna audition for him and L.A. Reid, in his office. The latter personality is extremely well known in the music industry. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in music since starting his career in 1973.
The audition was a success, and Rihanna was signed. Her career would explode after that triumph, and before long she’d be a huge name in music.
Rihanna hit the big time in 2007, releasing her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. This album changed her sound for the better, introducing a new, upbeat style. She had some tracks on this album that would come to be iconic, such as Umbrella.
You can see the music video for this track on YouTube.
That particular single would become instantly recognizable, owing to its unique hook. It took pride of place at the top of the charts in thirteen separate countries worldwide. In the UK, it took the top spot for ten weeks in a row.
She would ultimately win a Grammy for Umbrella – her first – in 2008. Following the immense success of Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna launched a worldwide tour. This was incredibly well received, and she sold out across eighty shows.
The success would continue as the years rolled on. Rihanna subsequently landed acting roles in television and movies, such as Battleship and Ocean’s 8. She worked with beauticians to release multiple fragrances, and to create a beauty and style agency in Los Angeles.
As of 2020, Rihanna was worth around half a billion dollars. She’d certainly come a long way since selling clothes on the streets of Bridgetown, Barbados. Although, she never completely left fashion. As shown by a post on Instagram, she remained driven by clothing, running her own brand, Fenty.