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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
The rapid rise of chart star Rihanna
Rihanna
Rihanna headlined the Tokyo leg of Live Earth
Now confirmed as only the seventh artist to spend 10 weeks at number one in the UK, Rihanna's rise in the music industry has been pretty rapid.

"So much has happened in my life, I feel like I've grown five years in a year," the 19-year-old reveals on her website.

And since bursting onto the pop and R&B scene two years ago, the Barbados-born starlet has achieved more than most of her peers.

With the announcement of her first major UK arena tour, after supporting the Pussycat Dolls last year and performing at Tokyo's leg of Live Earth, it looks like Rihanna is here to stay.

Her current hit single Umbrella was released digitally in May in the UK and went on to become only the third single to reach the top of the charts on downloads alone.

It has surpassed Gnarls Barkley's recent run of nine weeks on top, and is now the longest-running number one since Wet Wet Wet's Love is All Around in 1994.

Big break

The fortunes of the track, with a chorus that repeats the refrain "You can stand under my umbrella", cannot have been harmed by the fact it coincided with the unusually awful British summer.

Fans can now even buy five styles of official Rihanna real umbrellas.

The song has also enjoyed chart runs around the world, including seven weeks at number one in the US.

Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados, the young singer got her big break in 2003 when she was introduced to music producer Evan Rogers, who was on holiday in Barbados at the time.

Jay Z
Jay Z signed Rihanna to his record label Def Jam
On hearing Rihanna sing, the producer - who has worked with such artists as Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard - invited her to New York to record a demo.

Things started to take off after hip-hop megastar Jay Z showed interest.

Earlier this year, she recalled her first meeting with the star.

"He didn't want me to leave until I signed a deal. Twelve hours later, I signed the deal. That was kind of crazy, right?" she told the Honolulu Advertiser.

In 2005, she co-wrote and released her debut album Music of the Sun, which went on to sell a million copies worldwide.

Pon De Replay, the first single from the album, peaked at number two in both the UK and US, making her an instant star.

Artist success

Despite fame at such an early age, she admits she has had to work hard.

Unlike most people her age, she slots study time around rehearsals, training and interviews.

The Pussycat Dolls
Rihanna supported the Pussycat Dolls on their tour last year
"It always seemed glamorous but it is real work," she says on her website. "My love for music and singing will never change but the rose-coloured glasses are no longer so rosy."

Nevertheless, the heavy workload has clearly not put her off stardom.

After her first album came out, she supported Gwen Stefani on tour and shot her first film role in Bring It On Yet Again.

A Girl Like Me, Rihanna's follow-up album, was released in 2006 and bought even more success.

It spawned three big hits - SOS, her first US number one single, and two top tens, Unfaithful and Break It Off.

Last year, she scooped best R&B act at the Mobo and MTV Music Awards. She also performed before Michael Jackson at the World Music Awards.

So far this year, she has been nominated for four gongs at the Teen Choice Awards.

Her third album Good Girl Gone Bad attracted heavyweight collaborators including Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Timbaland, and StarGate.

It went to number one in the UK and two in the US, confirming her star status.


SEE ALSO
Rihanna achieves chart landmark
23 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Rihanna tops chart for ninth week
15 Jul 07 |  Entertainment

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