Rihanna was born in a parish in Barbados called St. Michael. She lived the life of a normal island girl going to Combermere, a top sixth form school. Rihanna won numerous beauty pageants and performed Mariah Carey "Hero" in a school talent show. Her life changed forever when one of her friends introduced her to Evan Rodgers, a producer from New York who was in Barbados for a vacation with his wife, who is a native. Rodgers arranged for her to go to New York to meet Jay-Z, CEO of Def Jam Records. He heard her sing and knew she was going to be incredibly successful. She was 16 when she was signed to Def Jam. Since then, she's amassed phenomenal success.