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But from an early age she was obsessed with music: first reggae artists Barrington Levy and Beres Hammond, then Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston.Rihanna’s career began in 2004 when two American record producers, Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken—both of whom were married to Bajan women and vacationed in Barbados—heard her sing at a local audition, made demos with her, and eventually brought her to the U. Jay Z, and executives Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith.I would wake up the next day feeling like shit.‘When you love somebody, that’s different,” she continues. Sometimes it’s the first time I’m meeting this person—and then all of a sudden I’m ‘with them.’ It freaks me out.
People have this image of how wild and crazy I am, and I’m not everything they think of me.
Rihanna is firmly in control of her life and career—but not of her image, which has veered between club-hopping temptress and poster child for victims of domestic abuse.
As the 27-year-old readies her long-awaited new album, she talks candidly about the chasm between her reality and her reputation.
I was terrified; my knees were shaking.” She’d already been turned down by another label, but Def Jam wanted her, and she—along with her lawyer—stayed in the building for 12 hours, until three A.
M., when she signed what she still refers to as a “great deal.” (Jay Brown laughs and says Ty Ty jokingly told the lawyer that the only way they were getting out of the building without signing was through the window.)Rihanna’s rise happened fast.