Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

20 Facts You Didn’t Know About Rihanna

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.


Iconic. Legendary. Out of this world. Inspiring. Empowering. Fabulous. I could go on and on, but these are just the first words that come to mind when I think about Riri (which is about 20-80X a day). Beyond her impressive vocal reach, effortless fashion sense, captivating stage presence, and overall badassery, Rihanna is also a symbol of body confidence and positive sexuality in our society. So, whether you’re a die-hard fan or occasional admirer, here are 20 things you didn’t know about Rihanna.  


1. Okay, so this one is sort of a cop-out but just to give some background worthy of our island queen, here it goes:

Rihanna was born in Barbados on February 20, 1988 (20 facts– Feb. 20th…get it?). Named Robyn Rihanna Fenty, she grew up in a small parish with two younger brothers. Her early childhood was influenced by aggressive headaches and the divorce of her parents when she was 14.


2. When Rihanna was younger she was a member of the Army Cadets as a part of a sub-military programme. Imagine your first day at training and f$#*ing RIHANNA IS YOUR DRILL SERGEANT *dies*


3. Riri’s middle name “Rihanna” is Arabic and means “Sweet Basil”. Yea you sweet girl, you real sweet ;)


4. Barbados made February 22nd Rihanna Day. Screw Valentine’s Day I’m spending my money on a trip to the Caribbean every spring.


5. In 2015, Rihanna was officially named the first artist in history to achieve 100 million of their singles digitally streamed or downloaded.


6. On her U.K. concert series, Riri actually banned audience members from bringing umbrellas, fearing they would hurt themselves trying to replicate her dance moves during “Umbrella”.


6. The island queen currently has 25 tattoos in counting. Her first ink was of a music note on her foot, and in 2012 she got her iconic tattoo of Isis on her chest. The Egyptian goddess was chosen as a tribute to her grandmother. Other tats include “1988” on her right ankle, a cross over her left collarbone, and “rebelle fleur” on the left side of her neck.


7. Rihanna was supposed to be the Maid of Honor at Katy Perry’s marriage to Russel Brand, but Ri couldn’t be bothered from taking a break recording her album Loud. 


8. Before her shows, sometimes Rihanna sneaks into the crowd. Under the cover of oversized sunglasses and a hoodie, she likes to get a feel for the audience and the energy of the room.



9. Another pre-performance ritual, Riri also takes time to suck on lozenges and steam her vocal chords. Then she takes a watered down shot to ease her nerves. (Goals is to take any sort of shots with Rihanna honestly IDC if it’s Taaka and that’s saying something).


10. Once while getting a bikini wax she was recognized, midway through the waxing she was asked to sign an autograph! Now Rihanna makes sure that her waxers don’t know her;  “every time I get a wax I specify the lady is old and speak Russian and no English”.


11. Rihanna was signed to Def Jam Records when she was just 16.


12. The fashion icon doesn’t like Mexican, Chinese, Japanese or Indian food…and now suddenly neither do I?


13. In 2014, Instagram accidentally flagged Rihanna’s account for her saucy snaps. The account was suspended for a brief time but Ri took the chance to take break from the social media site. The world went dark for six months until the Barbadian star made her return.


14. Rihanna won her first Grammy when she was 19 for her song “Umbrella.” She now holds 8 Grammy awards.


15. Ri has graced the cover of eight Vogue issues, including US Vogue and her most recent shoot for Vogue Arabia, where she pays homage to the Egyptian queen Nefertiti.


16. Saturday Night Live has presented Rihanna as their performer 5 times — twice in 2012 alone.


17. The Bajan beauty became the first woman to receive the Shoe of the Year award for her collaboration with Puma.


18. Mariah Carey, Bob Marley, and Madonna are some of Ri’s biggest musical influences.


19. The star has mentioned witnessing an exorcism as a child at a local church in Barbados.


20. After Gillette’s Venus Breeze awarded her the “Celebrity Legs of a Goddess”, Rihanna insured her legs for $1 million dollars. We don’t blame you Ri, we really don’t.


So there you have it! 20 interesting facts about our girl –now go out there and be her biggest #2 fan (number 1 taken by me of course)!


Sources: 1, 2, 3,

Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor