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Rihanna’s Business Acumen Earns Her a Spot on the Billionaire’s List

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Apr. 6 2022, Updated 1:43 p.m. ET

Business acumen, not her career as a top chart singer, makes Rihanna the richest female musician in the world. The popular singer just made the Forbes 36th annual billionaire's list with a net worth of $1.7 billion.

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That makes Rhianna second only to Oprah Winfrey when it comes to the world’s wealthiest female entertainers, Forbes reports.

Rihanna posing with Fenty Beauty advertisements
Source: Getty Images
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But it isn't Rihanna’s pop-chart songs or acting gigs that bumped her into billionaire status. It’s her savvy business sense. The singer, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, owns major stakes in two companies—Fenty Beauty cosmetic company and Savage X Fenty lingerie.

Rihanna has a 50 percent stake in Fenty Beauty.

The Fenty Beauty cosmetic line started in 2017 as a joint venture between Rihanna and billionaire Bernard Arnault's French luxury goods company LVMH. Seeing a void in the beauty industry for products tailored to all skin types and tones, the singer wanted to create a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” according to the Fenty Beauty website.

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Within its first year in business, Fenty Beauty brought it more than $550 million in revenue. That’s more than other celebrity brands like Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty, Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, and Jessica Alba's Honest Company, Forbes reports.

In 2020, the company introduced a new line, Fenty Skin, which features products like facial toner and cleanser, and it followed that up with its first fragrance, Eau de Fenty in August 2021.

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Fenty Beauty is estimated to be a $2.8 billion business. Most of Rihanna’s fortune, about $1.4 billion, comes from her 50 percent stake in Fenty Beauty, Forbes reports.

Rihanna has a 30 percent state in Savage X Fenty lingerie.

Arnault’s private equity firm L. Catterton was one of the initial investors in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie company that started in 2018. The company is a joint venture between the post singer and the TechStyle Fashion Group.

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Savage X Fenty fashion show
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Once valued at about $1 billion, Savage X Fenty is projected to be worth about $3 billion, that is, if the company goes public. In March 2022, Bloomberg reported that Rihanna was considering taking Savage X Fenty public. Rihanna is said to still own a 30 percent stake in the company, which gives her net worth a $270 million boost, reports Forbes.

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Rihanna signed her first record deal at 17.

Born and raised in Barbados, Rihanna signed her first record deal with the Def Jam record company when she was just 17 years old. Her first two albums, "Music of the Sun" in 2005 and "A Girl Like Me" in 2006 reached the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

Following her number one hit, “SOS” in 2006, Rihanna’s music career exploded with top-of-the-charts hits such as “Umbrella,” “Rude Boy,” “S&M,” and “Diamonds.”

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Rihanna is one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

Currently, Rihanna is known as one of the best-selling musicians of all time. She has won nine Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 13 American Music Awards, and six Guinness World Records. She has been recognized twice in 2012 and 2018 as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

The singer has appeared in several films, including Ocean’s 8 and Battleship. She has also amassed an impressive social media presence with 105.9 million followers on Twitter and 125 million followers on Instagram.


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