A Barbadian, Rihanna was born in Saint Michael, Barbados, as the oldest child to Ronald Fenty, her Barbadian father (of African and Irish ancestry) and Monica Fenty, her Guyanese (of an Indian descent) mother. Living a life of a normal island girl, Rihanna went to Combermere, a top sixth form school, similar to grammar schools in the UK. Rihanna’s musical inspirations include Alicia Keys, Beyoncé Knowles, and Mariah Carey. While at school, Rihanna performed Mariah Carey`s ‘Hero’ in a talent show and went on to even win the beauty pageant contest that was organised. The defining moment of her life was when one of her friends introduced her to Evan Rodgers, a producer from New York who was in Barbados for 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 was genuinely impressed and realized that she is not just one song wonder – she is going to make it big! At the age of 16 she signed Def Jam and Rihanna`s debut album ‘Music of the Sun’ came out – promising her a sensational journey ahead.