It is well known and understood that celebrities lead different lives when compared to ordinary people. In fact, they are faced with a variety of challenges by virtue of fame and attention. However, fame, wealth and success do not drastically change peoples’ essence. These things simply amplify at the celebrity status. People may either be nice or unpleasant, humble or proud and so on. Fame, money, etc simply lift the veil of the inner, innate character. Whereas only ten people would have known you were grumpy, you become a star and the whole world knows.
In the scrutiny of public opinion, the amplification of one’s character traits, practices and so one become heavily discussed. This often renders the life of a celebrity quite challenging as people forget they are human. There are people who are arrogant and proud but they are not celebrities. Maybe it is easier to be a teacher or a lawyer. Imagine the entire world labelling you with opinions about what you wear or who you date; such trivial things.
However, the public does highlight important perceptions from time to time. One common opinion crafted by public sentiment is whether a celebrity has remained true to his her roots. This happens all around the world with celebrities from some of the most diverse regions of the globe. The Caribbean is no exception. Notwithstanding, being West Indian means more than simply having been born in the Caribbean. Being West Indian is a way of life governed by a particular kind of thinking. This persona is not crafted overnight, but over a number of years. Regardless, the Caribbean is so culturally unique that once there has been direct West Indian influence on your life, it is extremely difficult to blotch out. In fact, it is impossible. What is possible is the drowning of your West Indian nature in the enculturation subsequent to migration. This has happened to a number of West Indian-born; now stars. Rihanna is an example.
Rihanna was born in a parish in of St. Michael in Barbados. Expectedly, she lived the life of an ordinary island girl. She attended Combermere, a top sixth form school. She also won numerous beauty pageants. Notably, she performed Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in a school talent show and became a known young talent in the community.
Her life changed when one of her friends introduced her to Evan Rodgers, a producer from New York. Rodgers 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, rapper and CEO of Def Jam Records. Jay-Z heard her sing and knew she was going to be incredibly successful. She was signed to Def Jam at only 16. Since then, she has amassed phenomenal success. An example, “Pon De Replay” (2005) became a massive hit and soared to the second rank of Billboard Hot 100.
Rihanna’s life is a success story, from an ordinary young girl with a simple life, she has transformed into a new jewel of American music industry. With her extraordinary talent of singing and writing songs, it is just a matter of time before she rises as the new diva of R&B. Notwithstanding; she has represented her country of birth, Barbados with pride. In fact, many view Rihanna as an ambassador of sorts for the Caribbean country. Whenever she goes home whether for a show or any other event, she receives a warm welcome.
Is this sufficient however? Rihanna lived in the Caribbean for a longer time than did, say Niki Minaj, so the encountered a greater level of Caribbean culture. This is why remnants of her Bajan accent are still present. Regardless, stressing your true identity and roots involves more than that. What about songs about your hometown? Songs about the Caribbean? What about shooting some music videos in Barbados? What about working with young Bajan artistes and so on? These are important potential endeavours that Rihanna needs to consider. The Caribbean is a small region, with small territories, but with people of big hearts, rare talent and a persistent drive. Celebrities like Rihanna can help to extensively amplify the pursuits of many. In time, many others will be able to achieve the level of success that she has.
By TCC Staff