Rihanna evoked female empowerment and a fiercely independent spirit through songs that frequently burned up the charts. In 2005, she started her musical ascent with her debut single, "Pon de Replay," an infectious, island-flavored tune that became that year's official summer jam. The Barbados-born Rihanna released one hit single after another, like "SOS" (2006) and "Disturbia," a dance floor favorite from the re-release of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2008). But it was the megahit "Umbrella" (2007) featuring her professional mentor, rap icon Jay-Z, that elevated Rihanna to the same level as the Beyoncés and Christina Aguileras of the world. Fueled by hypnotic hip-hop and rock beats, "Umbrella" marked the singer's evolution from an innocent starlet to a pop superstar as she became a role model for girls of all ages who admired her edgy fashion style as much as her music. All that changed in February 2009 when Rihanna became a new kind of poster child after her R&B singer-boyfriend, Chris Brown, viciously assaulted her and threatened her life before leaving her on a Los Angeles sidewalk bloodied and bruised. In the aftermath, Rihanna kept a low profile throughout the investigation but made it clear through interviews that violence against women was not to be tolerated. Later that year, she came back in a big way with Rated R, a daring album of R&B tracks with goth-rock overtones. Beyond the critical acclaim it received, the album signified Rihanna's success in transforming her pain into art, and provided irrefutable proof of her enduring talent and her unwavering inner strength.