Rihanna and Mariah Carey
Rihanna insists that she felt "connected" to the Hero singer's story as a bi-racial performer.

Despite constantly showering Beyoncé with compliments, Rihanna has revealed that it is actually Mariah Carey who is her biggest musical inspiration.

The 24-year-old Diamonds star explained that she looked up to the Hero songstress when she was growing up as she identified with the bi-racial performer.

"I remember looking up to people like Mariah Carey," the Bajian beauty said during a recent appearance on The Ellen Show. "I identified with her in so many ways.

"She was bi-racial, she was also young and I remember just hearing her story and really being connected to it.

"Now, I moved to America and I started listening to pop music and rock music and all these other bands [and] artists that I never knew about from the '80s, the '70s."

The singer, who is preparing to release her seventh studio album, Unapologetic, on 19 November also admitted that she draws her inspiration from "everything" around her.

She continued: "I draw inspiration from everything, even if it's weird, there's always something you can find," she told Ellen. "The weirdest things are sometimes the coolest."

Earlier this month, RiRi said of Jay Z's wife Beyoncé: "[She's] gorgeous...a stab to my self-esteem."