Rihanna has been named the world’s richest female musician by Forbes magazine. The singer’s worth is estimated at $600m (£472m), including revenues made from her fashion and beauty lines in addition to those from her music career.
In May 2019, French luxury brand LVMH confirmed it would launch Rihanna’s fashion company, Fenty, making her the first woman of colour to lead an LVMH fashion house. “I want to be as disruptive as possible,” she told the New York Times of the venture. “The brand is not traditional.”
LVMH also backs Rihanna’s lucrative cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, which launched in 2017 and is worth more than £3bn, from which Rihanna has earned $570m, Forbes reports. Boots recently acquired UK distribution rights for the brand. She also designs an inclusive lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, in partnership with TechStyle Fashion Group.
In May, Rihanna told the New York Times that she wasn’t driven by money but by her work. “The money means that I can take care of my family. The money means that I can facilitate the businesses that I want to. I can create jobs for other people. My money is not for me; it’s always the thought that I can help someone else or, in the future, for if I have kids.”
In 2012, Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, which supports health and education efforts in impoverished communities around the world. In February 2017, she was named humanitarian of the year by Harvard University.
Forbes’s list of the top five richest female musicians finds Madonna in second place ($570m), Céline Dion in third ($450m), Beyoncé and Barbra Streisandtying in fourth ($400m) and Taylor Swift in sixth ($360m).
The publication defines “self-made” as “someone who built a company or established a fortune on her own, rather than inheriting some or all of it” – hence the Kardashian scion Kylie Jenner being named America’s youngest “self-made” billionaire earlier this year thanks to her cosmetics brand, Kylie Cosmetics.
The latest issue of Forbes magazine also names Jay-Z as the world’s first billionaire rapper, claiming that the 49-year-old’s empire “conservatively” totals $1bn after valuing his various ventures as well as any real estate and his art collection.