Tanya Peyrouze is the only child of then US Ambassador to France Andre Reynaud Peyrouze and aspiring singer and native Trinidadian Natasha Taj. Tanya was born in France, where the couple's fights grew physical and led to their split when Tanya was just two. Natasha gained full custody (without much resistance) and moved her daughter to Harlem, New York.
Natasha worked full time as an English/French translator and struggled with drug abuse, but never stopped singing at night clubs and around the house. Her love for performing transferred to her daughter, who was spotted by a talent scout and landed her an audition for the beloved 80s sitcom The Cosby Show
. The four years she spent playing the precocious Olivia Kendall on national television gave her a taste of the limelight at a very young age, and it was a flavor Tanya wasn't quick to forget.
Post-Cosby Show, Tanya Peyrouze had a fairly normal upbringing: she attended public school, took dance classes, wrote poetry and raps and gossiped about boys. At sixteen, Tanya told her Mother she wanted to "reinvent her star". Despite her reservations, Natasha assisted her daughter (having once shared the same dream) in recording demo tapes. The condition her Mother had for her while pursuing this dream was that she couldn't miss a day of school... a rule Tanya had trouble sticking to while trying to make her big break. She attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art for three years before she got signed to her first label and subsequently (to Natasha's disappointment) dropped out. Her arrogance led to her getting kicked out of her home and it didn't take Tanya (who had then taken on the psuedonym 'Rutina') long to realize the label was not the ticket to stardom she'd imagined. They had her singing in a group called 'DivaLove' that was going nowhere.
After leaving the group and being dropped by the label, Rutina had to resort to odd jobs to make ends meet while sending out demos, too proud to crawl back to her Mother for support. She worked as a waitress, receptionist, barista, office assistant... the list was very long due to her tendency to get fired (primarily due to issues with punctuality and a short temper with customers). While simultaneously working nine to fives, she set up a myspace account and uploaded a few of her tracks which caught the ear of an executive at Young Money Entertainment
. After auditioning for a few more higher ups, they signed her and this
match was far more heavenly than the shit at DivaLove. Rutina was ready to make her break.
The exposure from Young Money
led to several more label changes after that. Rutina was finding herself as an artist and a businesswoman and received flack for being "difficult" and "unreliable" while she felt she was simply being a leader and getting things done. Rutina since received multiple awards for her tracks from Underground Music as well as accolades from MTV and BET. As her fanbase grew so did her ego and not everyone respected the change. She relished in the limelight and told many interviewers that the criticism she receives has everything to do with her gender. "If I do it," she told XXL Magazine
, "I'm a crazy bitch. I'm full of myself. I'm a diva. If Eminem do it? If Kanye do it? He's a boss. I gotta be assertive to get things done with the quality standard I've set. They want me to be all sweet and nice but sweet and nice don't make people sit up straight when you walk into a room."
After her 2009 debut studio album Pink Friday
released to mixed reviews, she went right to work on her second: Roman Reloaded
which got the same critical treatment. The commercial success, however, sent her on her first headlining tour and on a fast track to A-List stardom. She has since released a third album The Pinkprint
, a lipstick with MAC cosmetics called Viva Glam Rutina
and her own fragrance at Macy's.
In 2014 while promoting her fourth studio album The Pinkprint
, Rutina performed two hit songs at the MTV Video Music Awards (including the now iconic Anaconda
). It was at this event that she met Diamants, an up and coming DJ nominated for best dance video. The pair began dating just as he was on the rise to global super stardom, and the unlikely couple experienced intense public scrutiny and growing pains as he struggled in the limelight. They became favored tabloid fodder thanks to their drunken fighting and his speculated infidelity. The latter was believed to be the reason Rutina ended the relationship in early 2015.
Rutina is nothing if not passionate, which is a blessing and a curse. She witnessed passion for the first time in her parents when their love was the most tender and their fights were the most violent. This is primarily why she is known to lash out in a similar fashion when things aren't going her way. She loves her work and her life and only knows how to respond in a heightened way. Despite her reputation, Rue is a serial monogamist and commits fully to her relationships. Some might call her clingy, but she calls it (you guessed it) passionate. "If you aren't going to do something full out, why do it at all?" She is the most loyal of friends to those that can stick around long enough through her high highs and low lows. Rutina is honest to a fault and never hesitates tell it like it is. Her logic? If they can handle truth, they can handle the love.