#Rihanna Rode Jay-Z To The Top
RUMOR: The Barbados native was signed to Def Jam in 2005 at the age of 17 after auditioning for former label president Jay-Z, who has carefully watched over her chart-topping, record-breaking career ever since. But of course, with success comes plenty of haters who feel she doesn’t deserve to be there and thus a slew of rumors that her rise up the label ranks was based on more than just her talent. Around 2007 and 2008 Rihanna was said to be the official sidepiece to King Hov, who was seriously dating his now-wife Beyoncé, with stories of feuds, awkward interactions and professional blue-balling going down between all three.
DEBUNKED? Rihanna’s had public relationships throughout her career—most notably with fellow artist Chris Brown—while Jay married Beyoncé in 2008 and is now expecting his first child, with the singer. Both have spoken out vehemently against the rumors, with Rihanna telling Cosmopolitan they led her to feel uncomfortable around her then-manager. “I felt self-conscious around [Jay-Z] until he took me aside and said that I just had to ignore it.”
DENY, DENY, DENY: “Not to take anything from her—she is a great artist—but every artist needs a launching pad and there is nothing better than a good scandal to get the public’s attention” —Jonathan Hay, Rihanna’s publicist, who admitted to pushing fake stories about an alleged affair between Jay and RiRi in promotion of her debut single “Pon De Replay” in the book Publicity Stunt: The Art of Noise.