From music to her business empire, how Rihanna became a billionaire

Rihanna stuns as she flaunts new Savage X Fenty lingerie

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Her fame in the music industry is undeniable, but Rihanna hasn’t produced a new album since 2016. It was her business ventures as an entrepreneur that built up her net worth. Rihanna’s Fenty brand includes a wide range of products like make-up, perfume and most recently lingerie with SAVAGE X FENTY, and Fenty Beauty alone is worth an estimated $2.8billion (£2billion).

Thanks to her business forte, Rihanna is officially the wealthiest female musician in the world and comes in a close second behind Oprah Winfrey for richest female entertainer.

Barbados born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as pop sensation Rihanna, launched Fenty Beauty in 2017 to make an inclusive cosmetics brand which spans across far more skin complexions than was available on the market at that time.

Her share of the business sits at 50 percent, or $1.4billion (£1billion), as confirmed by Forbes before announcing her billionaire status.

The other 50 percent belongs to French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, run by the world’s second richest man.


Rihanna’s last studio album was Anti released in 2016, although she has been teasing a new release (Image: GETTY)

While she is not the first nor the last celebrity banking on their social media presence and fanbase to create a separate line of cosmetics or clothing, she is undeniably the most successful.

Fenty Beauty was an instant success with over 50 different shades of foundation and after only one calendar year in business the line was seeing over $550million (£399million) in revenue.

This far overshoots other celebrity brands like Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner and Honest Co. by Jessica Alba.

Savage x Fenty is a newer venture for the musician, and has her brand element of inclusivity by using an array of diverse models for the lingerie.


The brands financial success was outstanding as it raked in $115million (£83million) in funding, including from blue-chip investors like Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners.

Alongside her financial successes, Rihanna is also a humanitarian at heart, which saw her be appointed as an ambassador of education, tourism and investment by the Barbados Government in 2018.

During the coronavirus pandemic she donated $5million (£3.6million) via her non-profit organisation the Clara Lionel Foundation.

The Clara Lionel Foundation was founded in 2012 in honour of Rihanna’s grandparents Clara and Lionel to fund education, emergency preparedness and response programmes all over the world.


Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty both look to be inclusive of all skin and body types (Image: GETTY)

This is also not Rihanna’s first philanthropic venture, as she founded the Believe Foundation which provides support for terminally ill children when she was only 18, a year after her very first single.

Rihanna has also faced her fair share of criticism for the amount of focus and dedication she displays towards her business ventures, mainly because it keeps her music fans feeling like they are on the backburner.

Her last album release was 2016’s Anti and prior to that her fans would easily expect a new album every year.

The influence of Caribbean music from her home country of Barbados, as well as the mixing of dance, pop, electro and reggae, has made Rihanna an icon in the music industry at an incredibly young age, delivering her first hit single at the age of 17.

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Her ever-growing list of awards includes 10 Grammy’s, 12 Billboard music awards and four MTV video music award is also paired with recent acting accomplishments such as Battleship, 2012, and Ocean’s Eight, 2018.

Rihanna commented on what this success means for her: “Success for me isn’t a destination it’s a journey.

“Everybody’s working to get to the top but where is the top? It’s all about working harder, getting better and moving up and up.”

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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