Rihanna Not the First Bad Girl on Island Def Jam

One artist in particular has been accused of more than mimicking another artist for attention. According to some people, Rihanna completely ‘swagger jacked’ someone else.  In the world of music, persona is just as essential to success as talent. Because of this, artists often have to reinvent themselves during their transition from average person to super-stardom. Many up and comers mimic the greats as a way to get the world’s attention. 

Rihanna was the exotic looking islander with a unique voice and long flowing hair when she first appeared on the pop scene in 2005. But the self-proclaimed Good Girl Gone Bad didn’t get much attention until she went from the young adult princess look we saw on Music of the Sun and A Girl Like Me to the edgy rock star look she has now. Who is the artist she has been accused of impersonating? None other than Canadian pop-rocker, Fefe Dobson.

Fefe released her first single one year prior to Rihanna’s release under the exact same record label, Island Def Jam. Her “Don’t Go (Girls and Boys)” was a great song, but her presence in the United States was dismal compared to what Island Def Jam could do with a girl from the Caribbean. So, it has been rumored that the record label handed Fefe’s persona to Rihanna and her career took off while Fefe would have to put in years of hard work for anyone in the U.S. to know who she was.

In fact, it is notable that each time Fefe Dobson tried to reinvent herself, Rihanna did as well. Fefe chopped off her hair and so did Rihanna – but according to Fefe Dobson, she didn’t take it personally. In an interview with Honey Mag, Fefe was asked what she thought of people saying that Rihanna ‘bit her style.’ She responded by saying “I mean, for sure I question that. She is supposedly a fan of mine. I try to take it as a compliment. It gets a little much when she starts getting the same tattoos as me but overall I just want people to separate the image and listen to the music.”  According to the remainder of Fefe’s statements about Rihanna, their music is what sets them apart. And ‘swagger’ might make the person, but it certainly does not make the music.