“Monica Braithwaite, the mother of global music sensation Rihanna, has been a quiet force behind the scenes.”
In the media landscape, being the parent, sibling, or child of a celebrity can elevate one’s status to a celebrity in their own right. Among these notable figures is Monica Braithwaite, recognized as the mother of the globally renowned hip-hop sensation Robyn Fenty, better known to the world by her stage name, Rihanna.
While Rihanna’s fame is well-documented, Monica herself remains a relatively enigmatic figure, with much still to be unveiled about her own story.
In this exploration of her life, we delve into her early years, the challenges she faced, and her pivotal role in shaping Rihanna’s extraordinary career.
|Date of Birth
|April 5, 1969
|Place of Birth
|Rajad Fenty, Rihanna, Rorrey Fenty
|5 feet, 7 inches
|78 Kg (172 Lbs)
|Monica Braithwaite Net Worth
Monica Braithwaite’s Early Years: Marriage At 19
Monica, born on April 5, 1969, in Guyana, has a story that often goes unnoticed. Little is known about her childhood, but what stands out is her journey from Guyana to Barbados when her parents, Lionel and Clara Braithwaite, decided to relocate.
At the tender age of 19, Monica became a mother to Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Married to Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor and working as an accountant, Monica navigated the challenges of early motherhood. The family eventually settled in Bridgetown, Barbados.
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Monica’s Challenges in an Abusive Marriage With Ronald
Monica Braithwaite, in addition to Rihanna, welcomed two more children, sons Rorrey (born on November 13, 1989) and Rajad (born on April 15, 1996). However, their family journey was marred by the challenges of an abusive marriage. Life proved to be incredibly difficult for Monica Braithwaite Fenty and her children.
Ronald, her husband, battled alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction, leading to a tumultuous and often violent relationship.
During their challenging times, the family resided in a modest three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown. To supplement their income, Ronald set up a street stall near their home to sell clothes. It was in assisting with this venture that Monica Braithwaite’s daughter, Rihanna, developed an interest in fashion.
The ordeal persisted as Ronald’s struggles intensified, leading to physical abuse towards Monica. By the time Rihanna reached her teenage years, she frequently intervened to protect her mother from Ronald’s violent outbursts.
Breaking free from the shackles of this destructive marriage was a gradual process for Monica Braithwaite. In 2002, she made the courageous decision to divorce Ronald, dedicating herself entirely to the well-being of her children.
A year later, after overcoming the challenge of Rihanna’s debilitating headaches, Monica played a pivotal role in launching her daughter’s music career.
How Monica Nurtured Rihanna’s Musical Talents?
Monica Braithwaite played a pivotal role in fostering Rihanna’s early interest in music. Amidst the challenges of an abusive marriage, Monica also grappled with her daughter’s severe headaches, which plagued Rihanna since the age of 8, leaving doctors perplexed.
Rihanna shared with Entertainment Weekly, “They even thought it was a tumor, because it was that intense.” The turning point came after her parents’ divorce, marking the disappearance of Rihanna’s headaches.
With this relief, Monica’s daughter could finally address challenges faced at school, where her fair complexion subjected her to unfair judgment and ridicule.
During this transformative period, Monica, recognizing Rihanna’s burgeoning love for music, provided encouragement that led to the formation of a girl’s group with two classmates. In 2004, music producer Evan Rogers, vacationing in Barbados, auditioned Rihanna and her peers.
The subsequent year proved to be dynamic for Monica Braithwaite and her daughter, as they shuttled between Barbados and Stamford, Connecticut, honing Rihanna’s vocal talents. At 16, Rihanna made a bold decision to leave Barbados for good, driven by a determination to succeed, even if it meant relocating to America.
Rihanna’s Gift to Monica Braithwaite: A Barbados Mansion
At the peak of Rihanna’s flourishing career in 2012, marked by the success of seven albums and a burgeoning film career, the global sensation decided it was the perfect time to express her gratitude to her mother, Monica Braithwaite.
Rihanna orchestrated a heartwarming surprise on Oprah’s Next Chapter, inviting her mother for an interview. Oprah, with palpable excitement, revealed the true purpose, saying,
“Right now, Rihanna’s mother, Monica, is coming here, to this beautiful location, and she thinks that she’s coming to do an interview, which she is. I’ll be happy to talk to her, but that’s not the real deal. The real deal is that her lovely, lovely daughter, the good daughter, has a big surprise for her.”
Monica Braithwaite, upon arrival, was reassured by Rihanna that there was no impending pregnancy. Instead, Rihanna unveiled a heartfelt gesture, expressing,
“I wanted to do this for you for a very long time. You have been a great example, and you get to walk away with the key to this house.”
The significant gift was a stunning five-bedroom mansion in Barbados, where Monica Braithwaite continues to reside. The emotional moment can be witnessed in the heartwarming exchange between mother and daughter.
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Monica Braithwaite’s Retirement and Proud Moments
In her current phase of life, Monica Braithwaite embraces retirement with joy. She frequently shuttles between Barbados and various locations as she remains an unwavering pillar of support for her famous daughter. Rihanna’s FENTY design brand stands as a tribute to Monica, a source of immense pride for the dedicated mother.
Monica is actively present on Instagram, sharing glimpses of her life. Her account reflects not only her support for Rihanna’s brand but also her genuine enjoyment of life. Her posts extend beyond her daughter, featuring her sons and occasionally throwing back to cherished memories.