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Rihanna, the Icon

By Sarah Steinberg.



What makes someone an artist? This is a question with multiple answers. For me, an artist is someone with originality, creating something new while letting their characteristics and personality shine through their work. An artist should be someone that we can look up to, and be inspired by. For me, one of that most iconic artists is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She is recognized for embracing various musical styles and reinventing her image throughout her career. Today, she is one of the most well known female artists in not only the music industry, but the movie and beauty industry as well.

There is no doubt that Rihanna is indeed very famous, with her net worth being valued at $260 million and having sold 280 million records worldwide, but how did she get famous in the first place? Most people have a different view of how Rihanna first got famous.

For some, it may have been when she released umbrella, the famous hit song. For those who pay more attention to the news of pop music, she came to light in the midst of the 2009 Chris Brown incident. And some may even recognize her as the woman who sang a song Paul McCartney wrote with Kanye West.

Rihanna released her first debut album music of the sun in 2005. After that, her career took off quickly. Good Girl Gone Bad, released 2007 spawned the hits “Umbrella” and “Don’t Stop the Music.” As the title suggests, this was the album that set her image.

For me, there are multiple reasons why I consider her an iconic artist. For one, the music industry has always been heavily male dominated. Looking back at the musical history there are nearly no notations of women. There are two main reasons behind this. One, in modern history in almost all communities men have been seen as superior to women, especially white men. Therefore, women have been limited in ways to succeed in society, this especially applies to women of color. Even though today's society is the most gender equal in modern history it's nowhere near completely equal and the music industry is no exception. With that said, Rihanna has had 14 No. 1 singles, making her the youngest solo artist to achieve that milestone. Not the youngest female solo artist, the youngest solo artist of all. This makes her iconic. Besides that, Rihanna has won nine grammys, 12 billboard music awards, 13 american music awards, and 6 Guinness world record to boot. One of them being the best selling digital artist in the US in 2013.

One thing that I find very impressive about Rihanna and her work is her consistency. Compared to many other celebrities Rihanna has had very few, if even any, scandals. The worst was probably in 2015 when she, according to rumors, did drugs. But this is not confirmed nor had any consequences. This makes her a bigger icon in my eyes. She hasn't let her fame get to her and she is a big role model. She has even gotten famous for doing many good deeds. According to lookingtothestarts.com “...Rihanna has performed a number of concerts to raise funds for both those charities and the Foundation. After her performances, she met children from the local charities, signing autographs and posing for pictures with her young fans.” and “her commitment to helping children has extended to becoming a 2007 Cartier LOVECHARITY Bracelet Ambassador, performing at Madonna's Raising Malawi/UNICEF fundraiser, and even using her fame to help a mother of two find a bone marrow donor.” Besides that, her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, has been praised by many for its inclusion in shades and unique models with different ethnicities, skin color and shapes.

Rihanna is in many ways the perfect artist and role model. The only critique I can give her is that I want her to make more music. I cant really complain though because instead, she has delivered great things in other carriers, like the makeup industry and the movie industry. But her greatest legacy will be her personality and good deeds. She is living proof that success doesn't have to take away your humanity. She inspires me, and I hope many others, to do good in our world.

Thank you Rihanna.


Sources

Dirty thirties: 3 of Rihanna’s most infamous ‘scandals’ to date. (2020).

Retrieved 2 March 2020, from https://www.channel24.co.za/Gossip/News/dirty-30-3-of-rihannas-most-infamous-scandals-to-date-20180220

Rihanna: Charity Work & Causes. (2020).

Retrieved 2 March 2020, from https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/rihanna

Robinette, E. (2020). How Did Rihanna Become Famous?.

Retrieved 2 March 2020, from https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/how-did-rihanna-become-famous.html/