Robyn Rihanna Fenty was one of the biggest R&B and pop artists in the world before she transitioned into fashion and beauty.
The Barbadian business mogul won nine Grammy Awards, 12 American Music Awards, 14 number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and a Micheal Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Before Rihanna became the famed musician and businesswoman she is now; she was just a 15-year-old girl trying to get famous. Riri recorded “Pon De Replay” in 2004 and sent the track to different labels.
Jay Z was a big name in the industry then and was also the president of Def Jam records. The rapper received her demo but wasn’t the biggest fan. However, he invited her for an audition which led to one of the best decisions of his music career.
Rihanna Signed To Def Jam At 16
“Pon De Replay” was just one song in Rihanna’s demo, but it gained the most attention. When Jay Z heard the song, he wasn’t impressed and felt it was too big for her. He eventually invited her for an audition in 2005.
The “Empire State of Mind” artist flew her out to the states to meet with him, and the company’s executives and her performance quickly changed his mind.
He wasn’t the only one impressed; his boss L.A. Reid was so taken by her music that he told Jay Z not to let Rihanna leave the building without signing a contract. Rihanna told the Observer that Jay Z said, “There are only two ways out. ‘Out the door'” — if she signed with them — ‘or through this window'” if she didn’t.”
She recalled that they were with lawyers in the office till 3 a.m. before the contract was signed. The 16-year-old signed to the label of her dreams and walked out the front door.
Cipha Sounds Convinced Jay Z About Rihanna
Before Rihanna’s performance, Jay Z wasn’t enthusiastic about her and had to be convinced to give her a shot. One of the people that talked him into it was a New York DJ and comedian named Cipha Sounds. In an interview with Michael Yo, the DJ revealed how he “broke” Rihanna and played a part in her fame.
He said, “There’s a famous story where she went to Def Jam when Jay-Z was president, and they wouldn’t let her leave the room until they found the right deal that she would sign with them,”
The DJ also recounted the conversation he and Jay Z had the night before the performance. “The story that doesn’t get told is the night before, me and Jay-Z had an argument about her,” he recounted. “He was like, ‘I don’t know. It might be just one song.’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m telling you. … Jay, this is why you have me around. My ear is your ear. I’m the A&R.”
“We had a big argument; we always talk about it to this day,” he added. “And then the next day, they sign her.”
Rihanna And Jay Z Are Both Billionaires Now
Signing Rihanna proved to be one of Jay-Z’s best business decisions because the R&B star became a worldwide music sensation. Her contract with Def Jam included six albums, so the artist released albums almost every year. Her albums proved she wasn’t a one-hit-wonder by dominating the charts and sales for a whole decade.
Rihanna started cutting back on her music when she began “Fenty Beauty” in 2017. She branched out entirely with a makeup line, a skincare line, and even went into fashion. 16 years after she signed with Def Jam, Rihanna’s music and successful business ventures made the artist a billionaire.
Jay Z entered the billionaire scene earlier than her with a net worth of $1.3 billion. Like Rihanna, the American rapper didn’t depend on his music alone for money and went into several business ventures. He was involved in real estate, had multiple art collections, had various investments, and even a champagne brand named Armand de Brignac.
Will Rihanna Release A New Music?
Rihanna’s last album, “ANTI,” was released in 2016 and was double-platinum. Hits like “Needed Me,” “Love On The Brain,” and “Work” held the world hostage and boasted the status of the album. Since then, the business mogul has lived her best life slaying the beauty and fashion industries and supporting several philanthropic causes.
After years of waiting, in October 2020, Riri mentioned that new music was on the way, and they were already involved in writing camps. According to her, the next album would be reggae-infused, taking her music to a different level. There isn’t an official name for the album, but Rihanna’s Navy calls it “R9.”
The wait for the album continued, and in September 2021, the R&B artist confirmed that her fans should expect the album soon, and it would sound ‘completely different’ from her previous works. Fans of the singer have no other option than to wait it out and hope the album will be as good as they anticipate.