Rihanna was an army cadet in a sub-military program, where the later Barbadian singer-songwriter Shontelle was her drill sergeant.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, the daughter of accountant Monica and warehouse supervisor Ronald Fenty. Rihanna has two brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty, and two half-sisters and a half-brother from her father's side, each born to different mothers from his previous relationships. She grew up in a three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown and sold clothes with her father in a stall on the street. Her childhood was deeply affected by her father's alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction, which contributed to her parents' strained marriage. Rihanna's father used to physically abuse her mother, and Rihanna would try to get in between them to break up fights.
As a child, Rihanna had many CT scans for the excruciating headaches she suffered, recalling, "The doctors even thought it was a tumor because it was that intense." By the time she was 14, her parents had divorced, and her health began to improve. She grew up listening to reggae music. She attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and Combermere School, where she studied alongside future international cricketers Chris Jordan and Carlos Brathwaite. Rihanna was an army cadet in a sub-military program, where the later Barbadian singer-songwriter Shontelle was her drill sergeant. Although she initially wanted to graduate from high school, she chose to pursue a musical career instead.