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 Billionaire list with a net worth of $1.7 billion.
That makes her second only to Oprah Winfrey when it comes to the world’s wealthiest female entertainers, Forbes reports.
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.
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.
Last year, the company introduced Fenty Skin skincare products and it has plans to launch its first fragrance, Eau de Fenty, this month.
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.
Savage X Fenty is valued at about $1 billion and Rihanna’ 30 percent stake in it amounts to about $270 million, Forbes estimates.
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.”
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 also appeared in several films, including Ocean’s 8 and Battleship. She has also amassed an impressive social media presence with 102.5 million followers on Twitter and 101 million followers on Instagram.