Rihanna is a lot of things -- hit-maker, fashion icon, best-selling artist, force of nature. But she is also a controversy queen, a reluctant one at that or so she would have us believe. From making headlines for her explosive relationship with on-off boyfriend Chris Brown to calling God 'nigga' on Twitter and her other controversial tweets, the Barbadian artist, actor, and fashion designer is no stranger to
The Umbrella singer, who turns 26 on Thursday, posted multiple photos of her pre-birthday bash on her Instragram page on Wednesday. Last year, she celebrated turning 25 by hanging out with ex Chris Brown in Hawaii and sharing their PDA photos on Twitter.
Below is a selection of Queen Ri-Ri's 'finest' statements and antics, many of which dominated headlines, as we look back at her chequered past.
1 The Rihanna-Chris Brown saga: from shocking domestic violence incident to 'who-the-hell knows' phase
A 17-year old Rihanna was introduced to 16-year old Chris Brown at the 2005 Vibe Awards. There aren't a lot of photos of them together around this time, but pictures from the 2006 Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards confirms the two were definitely hanging out, if not flirting like crazy. Read:More on the racy couple
The Same year, she and Brown brought down the house with their steamy music montage— perhaps one of the best performances in VMA history.
When Chris turned 18, Rihanna attended the massive celebration. Subsequently, rumours about the nature of their relationship started.
Cut to 2009.
Chris Brown shocked the world when he brutally attacked his pop star girlfriend, leaving her bruised after a pre-Grammys party. He later admitted that he assaulted Rihanna and that he was arrogant and hotheaded.After assault charges and many a court appearances, the two subsequently made up. The R&B star had then warned her boyfriend that she would walk away if he ever hit her again. Read:Speculation still rife, is the couple over or not?
"If he gives me that again, here's what I give him: nothing. I just walk away. He doesn't have that luxury of messing up again," she said.
It had been four years since the assault, when Rihanna decided to celebrate her 25th birthday with Chris Brown and defended taking the rapper back in her life. She went on record insisting he is a fantastic person at heart.
Then, in February 2013, the R&B singer flaunted an engagement ring at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. She was even spotted cosying up with her boyfriend Brown at the gala.
Last heard, Rihanna was, once again, saying goodbye to everything Chris ever gave her! The heartfelt apology letter he wrote her at the beginning of 2013 included.
2 Rihanna-Drake fall out
During her single days, Rihanna was linked to an army of male suitors. But it was her fling with US rapper Drake and blossoming relationship with LA Dodger Matt Kemp that had the most traction.
Rihanna back with Drake?
Then, of course, the whole Rihanna used Drake phase happened. And the best thing that comes out of their romance is the 2010 summer anthem, What's My Name.
3 Drugs and addiction: We Found Love video told a story
Rihanna has said many times that she does not set out to be controversial but admits she does overstep the mark sometimes, as demonstrated by her 2011 single We Found Love.
It attracted plenty of attention for its depiction of drugs and violence.
"When I make a music video, it's a piece of art. It's four minutes to make a visual, for people to understand the message in the song," she said in an interview.
"I never do anything to get banned, never do it for controversy. It's always just honest and at times I just go a little too far for some," she added.
Watch the video:
4 Waging Twitter war against Chris Brown over break up
In May, 2013, Rihanna hit out at her former boyfriend Chris Brown, saying love was not for kids. During a radio interview, Brown had commented on Rihanna's age, claiming he couldn't be wife-ing someone so young.
The Rude Boy singer later responded with a comment on her account on Twitter .
"Settling is not an option! Nothing less than 100% loyalty, honesty, and respect!! Love ain't for kidz #butimsleeptho (sic)," she wrote.
Soon after, Brown too took to the microblogging website to express his thoughts on their relationship.
"Sometime loving someone is too much! So loving from a distance will help everyone grow! Be blessed. Live ya life! (sic)" he tweeted.
5Rihanna calls God 'nigga' on Twitter
And she did it again! Rihanna is known for doing wicked stuff, posting random pictures and weird comments on Twitter. But in December 2012, she went a little too far, perhaps, in an attempt to draw attention.
The R&B singer, who had of late been posting spiritual quotes and truisms, went ahead and called God a 'nigga' (derogatory slang and colloquial for Black people) on the micro-blogging site. The tweet read: God is THAT nigga tho!!! Soon after her post, fans and followers' reactions started pouring in.
Later, in April 2013, the superstar provoked another controversy after using the N-word to refer to a toddler on Twitter.
6 The tattoo queen
The popstar already had some 20 tattoos, when she started 2014 by getting herself a new one- a large ornate cross on her right wrist- in New York. Her other tattoos include a Sanskrit prayer down her thigh and the word love on the middle finger of her left hand; she claims they all have spiritual meanings.
Rihanna strips for Armani again
Mind you, tattoos aren't the only fashion statement to the sexy singer's credit. From topless pics to flaunting her fabulous body for Armani jeans, Rihanna has always stripped down in style.