The king of musicals says he spotted the pop star singing in a karaoke bar in Barbados.

American record producer Evan Rogers apparently wasn’t the first person to discover Rihanna‘s talent  – according to Andrew Lloyd Webber, he stumbled across the budding singer while on holiday in Barbados when she was 16 years old – but chose not to “bring her back.”

The Evita and Cats composer told ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday (December 13), that he spotted Rihanna singing “with a sort of karaoke band” at the Sandy Lane resort on the island 12 years ago. He says he remembers talking to his creative partner Nigel Wright over a drink and noting that she sounded “very, very good”.

“I said to Nigel, ‘if we bring her back it’s like when you see a picture when you’re away and you take it home and you think, why did I buy that?’ “I thought: we’ll get her back, it’ll be fine, but then what do we do with her?”

Presenter Piers Morgan asked Lloyd Webber if he “ever thinks about how much money that cost [him].” Lloyd Webber replied: “I don’t think in those terms but if I did, let me put it this way – it’s not a story I’m proud of.”

The Barbados-born artist was actually discovered by a vacationing Rogers after she caught his attention at a beauty pageant aged 16. He organised an audition with Rihanna who later moved into Rogers’ Connecticut home where she recorded a three-track demo tape, featuring a version of her first single, ‘Pon de Replay,’ which was then sent on to record labels. The rest, as they say, is history. [via Guardian]



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