How well do you know Rihanna? These are five unexpected tales

His time in the army, her legs, her first performance…Discover 5 unusual facts.

Revealed in 2005 with her hit Pon de Replay, Rihanna has become a global star. She has enjoyed one success after another, whether musical, entrepreneurial or family-oriented.

While we may seem to know her pretty well, there are still some things about her past that may surprise us! Here are 5 previously unpublished facts about her.

She could have been a soldier

1. As a child, Rihanna was in the army

“When I was 11, I joined the cadets and we immediately started working with weapons,” she told OK magazine. “If I had to [join the army], I’d do it without hesitation. I have enormous respect for soldiers. They dedicate their lives to saving others and most of the time aren’t recognized for it, even when they come back. It takes a certain character with a certain discipline to be a soldier.”

Since then, she has played a soldier, but in fiction. She starred as Private Cora Raikes in the 2012 film Battleship.

2. Her legs are insured

Like many stars, Rihanna’s body is insanely valuable. In 2007, razor brand Gillette insured the singer’s legs. The price: $1 million! Even Rihanna thought it was overkill.

“They voted me this year ”celebrity with goddess legs”, so with that title comes leg insurance,” she explained in an interview with The Guardian. “But I think I’m just normal. I thought, ‘Do people really insure their legs for a million dollars?’ If it was my million dollars, I’d be walking around in pants all the time.”

3. Spotted in a fashion contest

Rihanna’s breakthrough into music came thanks to a teenage beauty contest. At the age of 15, she won a beauty contest. At the ceremony, she performed Mariah Carey’s Hero. Spotted for her beauty, but above all for her voice, she quickly launched her career.

“I often laughed at those silly beauty pageants,” the star revealed to the Daily Mail, in 2007. “But my friends at school challenged me to do it, and my military upbringing served me well in learning to march with books on my head to parade.”

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4. She revived the Puma brand

In 2014, the Puma brand is at a low point. Sales were at half-mast. An idea popped up: ask Rihanna to collaborate. Bingo!

With a keen interest in the world of fashion, Rihanna was able to rethink and promote the women’s range. She assumed the role of creative director between 2014 and 2018. She is responsible for the Puma Creepers.

In 2023, she’s back at it again, launching a new version of her Fenty x Puma sneaker model.

5. A street and a day in her honour

If Rihanna is a star around the world, she’s even more so in her native Barbados.

Her childhood street now bears her name. It’s Westbury New Road, in the commune of Saint-Michel.

The singer has also been named a national hero. These heroes are celebrated every year on April 28.

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