Rihanna (Internet Image)
London – Rihanna released her debut single Pon de Replay on May 24, 2005 at the age of 17.
And 15 years after the single hit airwaves, Rihanna took to her Instagram to thank her fan base, called the Rihanna Navy, after they sent the hashtag #15YearsOfRihanna trending.
The 32-year-old singer/fashion designer/actress/entrepreneur thanked her fans for all the love on the special anniversary.
She wrote: 'Thank you for all the love on this hashtag today! Man this is trippy. Feels like just yesterday I was shaking in the hallways of Def Jam waiting to audition for Jay.'
Adding: 'Pon de Replay is where it all began . . . 15 years later and I'm here because God led me to you, and you guys have held me up, supported me, tolerated me, loved me, kept it too real with me, and we gon always be connected because of that!'
RiRi concluded: 'I love you Navy, and I cherish you. I'm so grateful to be gifted you as my fans and family! G4L!'
Rihanna was invited for an audition by Jay Z, who at the time was the president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings in early 2005 in New York City.
She sang Pon de Replay and The Last Time, which were her demo tracks, as well as Whitney Houston's For the Love Of You.
Jay Z and his boss LA Reid (who was the chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group) were impressed by the audition and immediately drafted up a contract for her to sign. She signed a six-album record deal with Def Jam.
Rihanna released eight studio albums: Music of the Sun (2005), A Girl Like Me (2006), Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011), Unapologetic (2012), and Anti (2016).
Rihanna, a nine-time Grammy award winner, is one of the best selling music artistes in the world with over 250 million records sold.
The icon also created the hugely successful makeup brand Fenty Beauty in 2017 at 29 years old; she developed the line with Kendo, a division of the luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH).
One year later – in 2018 – Rihanna launched SavagexFenty, her lingerie brand.
In 2019, the artist founded Fenty, a fashion brand under LVMH. She is the first woman to create an original brand with LVMH as well as the first brand LVMH has launched from scratch since 1987 (Christian Lacroix).
It's also the first time a woman of colour has led an LVMH maison.
In addition to her singer and fashion endeavours, Rihanna has acted in a number of films as well as founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, which was created to help terminally ill children. She founded the organisation in 2006. (Daily Mail)