Feb. 20: R&B vocalist and songwriter, Rihanna is 23 today.

Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Saint Michael, Barbados - but is best known by her middle name Rihanna.

She began singing at around the age of seven. At the age of 15, while in primary school, she formed a musical trio with two of her classmates. In 2004 she won the Miss Combermere Beauty Pageant. (She also was an army cadet in a sub-military programme that trained with the military of Barbados and Shontelle was her drill sergeant.)

In 2003, friends introduced Rihanna and her two bandmates to record producer Evan Rogers, who was vacationing in Barbados with his wife. The group auditioned, singing Destiny's Child's cover of "Emotion" for Rogers. Rogers said later that "the minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn't exist."  

Over the next year, Rihanna and her mom commuted to Rogers' home in Stamford, Connecticut. Shortly after turning 16, she relocated in the U.S. and moved in with Rogers and his wife. She signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for then-label head Jay-Z.

Success has come relatively quick for Rihanna. She has sold more than 20 million albums and 45 million singles worldwide. She has achieved nine number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since first appearing on the chart on June 11, 2005, which is the most by any artist during that time span.

(Continued below video and Amazon portal ...)

HIGHLY Recommended (Press album covers for direct links to Amazon):

LoudRated RA Girl Like MeRihanna: Good Girl Gone Bad Live [Blu-ray]

As of July 23, 2010, Rihanna has sold approximately 5,563,000 album units in the US. She has been recognized numerous times, including the 2007 World Music Awards for World's Best-Selling Pop Female Artist and Female Entertainer of the Year, as well as the 2008 American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist.

In 2010 she recorded a duet with Eminem entitled "Love the Way You Lie" that has been nominated for the People's Choice Awards for Favorite Song of the Year on  (See bottom of this post.)  

She also serves as one of Barbados's honorary cultural ambassadors.

In 2005, Rihanna released her debut studio album, Music of the Sun, which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart and features the Billboard Hot 100 hit single "Pon de Replay."

The following year, Rihanna released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me which peaked within the top five of the Billboard albums chart, and produced her first US number one hit single, "SOS," as well as Billboard Hot 100 top ten entries "Unfaithful" and "Break It Off."

A year later, her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, featured five top ten hits including three US number one hit singles—"Umbrella," "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia"—and the worldwide hit "Don't Stop the Music." The album was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella," (which features Jay-Z.)

Her fourth studio album, Rated R, was released in November 2009, and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200. Its first three singles, "Russian Roulette," "Hard" and "Rude Boy" peaked within the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, with "Rude Boy" peaking at number one.

She released her fifth studio album, Loud, in November 2010, that features the US number one singles, "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?" In January 2010, Rihanna received two Grammy Awards for Jay-Z's 2009 single "Run This Town."

In February 2011, Rihanna recieved a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, as well as recieving a Brit Award for Best International Female Solo Artist.