: It was just an ordinary day in Barbados for the 15-year-old Rihanna until…she was whisked away to become an international pop icon. The American music producer, Evan Rodgers, was vacationing on the island and some mutual friends arranged for Rihanna to audition for him. As soon as Rodgers heard Rihanna sing he knew he needed to bring her back to the U.S. and help her record an album. She leapt at the opportunity and, soon after, met Jay-Z who was quick to sign her to his label because, duh, Rihanna. She's been dazzling the world with her work work work work work ever since.
: Lady Gaga started chasing her dream of being a singer at a young age. As a child, Gaga studied classical piano and even took voice lessons from Christina Aguilara's vocals coach. Gaga went to college for a second before dropping out to focus on her music career full-time. By night, she practiced being a performer and put on burlesque shows in New York's Lower East Side. By day, she worked for a record company but was stuck writing songs not singing them. All of her practice and dedication paid off when Akon heard her singing at the record company and signed her to his label. Later that year, Gaga's first album, Fame
, was released and the world was never the same.
Next week: The stories behind Kanye and Charlie Puth's big breaks.