In 2003, at the age of 15, Rihanna received her big break when one of her friendsintroduced her tomusic producer Evan Rogers, who was vacationing in Barbados with
his wife. Rogers, along with his partner,Carl Sturken, helped Rihanna record material inthe U.S. which was sent to various recording companies. One copy of Rihanna's work was sent toJay-Z, who eventually signed her toDef Jam Recordings.
Rihanna citesBrandy,Beyoncé Knowles,Whitney Houston,Mariah Carey, Bob
Marley,Madonnaand her Caribbeanbackground as major musical influences. Rihanna
also stated in a recent interview that former Island Def Jam record label artistFefeDobsonwas someone whom she admired and looked up to, having a fellow artistwriting, singing, and performing the music she truly loves.
Music of the Sun
, was released on August 30, 2005, yieldingtwosingles, the first being "Pon de Replay" which was released on August 22, 2005.
This single became a huge success upon its release peaking at number 2 in the US onBillboard Hot 100charts.
It also became a global hit where it peaked within the top10 across 15 countries as well as achieving top 20 chartings on 20 charts around theworld.
magazine as a
"poppy piece of dancehall reggae with slapping, syncopated beatsrecalling big-band jazz."
However, despite "Pon de Replays" commercial chartsuccess, the album itself was rated 2.5 out of 5 stars by
Magazine anddescribed as lacking the replay value, ingenuity and rhythm of the single with "genericvocal hiccups and frills" of USR&B inflecting upon her "caribbean charm". Since its
release, the album reached the top 10 in both US and Canadian charts, gaining goldcertification from the RIAA from selling 500,000 units and subsequent platinumcertifications for selling 2 million units in various other countries.The second single "If It's Lovin' That You Want" was less successful than "Pon de
Replay", but it became a hit nonetheless by managing to achieve a top 40 charting in theUSA reaching a high of number 36. In Australia,Irelandand New Zealandthe single
proved to be well-received reaching the top 10 in those countries. Overall the single became a top 40 hit on 11 charts around the globe. Despite the album not having huge promotion and only releasing two singles
managed to sell over 500,000 copies in the United States and 2 million worldwide.
When asked about the nature of the album by
about the album itself,Rihanna noted that it was released quickly after she was discovered in her home as ameans of portraying her image as a girl from a small area who had moved to a largecountry in line with her debut, and that her second album was released somewhatshortly thereafter to illustrate that in her time in the country she had grown up quicklyenough to release another album.