Rihanna’s Most Memorable Moments from a Self-Proclaimed #1 Fan
Updated: Feb 20
Rihanna, the Barbados barbie, has achieved so many iconic moments. She may not be active in the music scene currently, but during her time in it, she became one of the most influential artists of this generation. From her start with Def Jam to becoming a fashion mogul, I have adored her through it all.
Join us on another journey, from a self-proclaimed #1 fan, as we revisit Rihanna’s most memorable moments just in time for her birthday this weekend.
December 2005: Rihanna was signed to Def Jam by Jay-Z
After Rihanna recorded the infamous Caribbean jam “Pon de Replay”, she sent it off to several labels. At just 16-years-old, she flew to New York City to audition for Def Jam’s newly appointed CEO, Jay-Z. Soon after the paper was signed, she became a recording artist.
May 2006: Rihanna gets her first No. 1 single for “S.O.S”
A truly iconic song that you wouldn’t dare forget from the start of her musical career. “S.O.S” was the debut song from Rihanna’s second studio album, “A Girl Like Me”. It was quick to reach the Billboard Hot 100 and had all of us jamming out at the middle school socials.
March 2008: Chris Brown enters Rihanna’s dating life
The two superstars were always in the limelight when they started dating. They made a cute power couple, until the physical assaults occurred. It was an unfortunate event that Rihanna opened up about on Oprah a few years later. The two are still friends, proving that at some point you have to let the past be the past.
June 2010: The iconic red hair
We cannot forget Rihanna's red hair days. It was one of the boldest hair styles she’s ever done, and it really made her stand out in the music industry. If you recall the red hair, you know this was the "Bad Gal" era when her music was very sensual and sexual - but we were here for it.
April 2012: Rolling a blunt on a bodyguards head during Coachella
Controversy broke out when Rihanna posted photos of her rolling up at Coachella. Her tweet ended the conversation instantly as she posted, “I’m crazy and I don’t pretend to be anything else.” We feel you RiRi, keep doing you.
April 2014: Topless Lui magazine cover
If you know Rihanna, you know she does not care to let it all hang loose. Which is exactly what she did for the cover of Lui with nothing but a bucket hat, braids, and a bathing suit bottom. Instagram temporarily banned her for posting it, but her fans rejoiced when her Instagram was up and running.
October 2014: “I’m not looking for a man, let’s start there”
We know this line from all over social media. The famous quote came from a night at Rihanna’s perfume launch for Rouge Man when an interviewer asked her what she is looking for in the next man. Leave it to the powerful, independent RiRi to answer this question with a little sass.
January 2016: Rihanna’s last heard album “Anti” drops
The artists eighth studio album was a surprise-release after fans waited three years for new music. Some would say it was an experiential album because it was unlike anything she released, but fans everywhere loved it. After decades of hit singles, she finally became an album artist.
August 2016: “Curving” Drake at the MTV Video Music Awards
Drake presented Rihanna with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and leaned in for a smooch. We put curving in quotation marks because there was one angle of the artists that someone caught on camera where you can actually see Drake kissing her.
February 2017: Harvard names Rihanna Humanitarian of the Year
You remember the hair flip she gave as she accepted the title, right? The artist was recognized by the Harvard Foundation as a "prominent public-spirited leader". She uses her wealth, influence, and global reach to advocate for access to health care and education.
September 2017: Fenty Beauty launched at Sephora
This was another iconic moment for Rihanna as she made her name in the world of beauty. The makeup line was the first of its kind to offer a whopping 40 shades of foundation, which created a new standard of inclusivity for skin tones. Many beauty outlets listed Fenty among its best inventions of the year, and she continues to be innovative within her product line to this day.
May 2018: Savage x Fenty launches during NYFW
The most recent venture for Rihanna is her Savage x Fenty line that was created to be size-inclusive lingerie. The show featured models of all sizes, shapes, and colors, and fashion enthusiasts were just as impressed as her fans were.
May 2018: Maison Margiela at the Met Gala
One of her biggest fashion moments was at the Met Gala where she didn’t just show up, she showed up. The most memorable piece of this look was the pope’s tiara she wore on her head.
February 2020: A powerful speech at the NAACP awards
When Rihanna received the President’s Award, she gave a moving speech that went viral. She spoke of the importance of unifying communities and encouraged people of color to tell their friends of different races to “pull up.”
From being a shy, island girl, entering the world of fame at a young age to becoming one of the world's most influential artists, the evolution of Rihanna is incredible to watch. Her journey has been one full of transformations (hair and spiritual), and a lot of iconic moments making history. The only thing now is to wait and see if she will ever come back to the music scene.
Have a favorite moment we missed? Comment down below and we may have to add it to the list. And don't forget to wish RiRi a happy birthday on February 20th!