Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for the Island Def Jam Music Group
Last year, Rihanna was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including best dance recording for "Disturbia." But she never got to celebrate at the 2009 ceremony, because a pre-Grammys fight in the early-morning hours with then-boyfriend Chris Brown left her bloodied and beaten. Now, a year after the attack left fans stunned and horrified, 21-year-old Rihanna is back on top, ready to attend the 2010 Grammys with her head held high.
This Sunday, Rihanna's up for two awards (the single "Run This Town" is nominated for best rap song and best rap/sung collaboration) -- but the road back to the Grammys was more than a little rocky. After Brown's arrest (and the subsequent release of shocking police photos showing Rihanna's unrecognizably battered face), the fashion-forward pop princess hid from the public and refused to comment. In June, she appeared in court to see Brown, who pled guilty to felony assault, sentenced with probation and a restraining order.
Finally, in November, Rihanna opened up on 20/20 about the attack and her breakup with Brown, candidly telling Diane Sawyer that the relationship was violent and abusive, and that "it's important for young women to know this is not a sign of love." The singer has since become an outspoken activist against domestic violence, and considers her experience a lesson for young women who may also be victims of abuse.
Professionally, Rihanna's album Rated R, released in late November, was her highest-selling U.S. debut, and the hit singles (including "Russian Roulette") keep coming. And who can forget her memorable duet with Bono on the recent Help for Haiti Now telethon?
Now, Rihanna is poised for a do-over, attending the Grammys solo this weekend. And the following day, on Monday's Ellen, she'll tell Ellen DeGeneres about the new tattoo inspired by this past year: "Never a failure always a lesson." Thank you, Rihanna, for the lesson you reminded millions of women: no matter much you love a man who's a batterer, it's always better to leave.
Plus: Who is nominated for a Grammy this year?
How did you feel when you first learned what happened to Rihanna a year ago? Chime in below!