By STACY M. BROWN
In 2021, Rihanna achieved billionaire status. In 2022, Forbes acknowledged that the Barbadian beauty now counts as the youngest self-made billionaire in America.
The 34-year-old, who recently gave birth to her first child, ranked 21st overall in the latest Forbes list of billionaires.
The singer and entrepreneur, whose Fenty Beauty line counts among the most popular in the world, is the only billionaire under 40 on Forbes’ list.
Earlier this year, reports noted that Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie planned an initial public offering valued at about $3 billion. The megastar owns 30% of Savage X Fenty and 50% of Fenty Beauty, reportedly generating $550 million in revenue in 2020.
The nine-time Grammy Award winner has stated that she intends to increase her philanthropic efforts around the globe. “My money is not for me; it’s always the thought that I can help someone else,” she told the New York Times in 2021. “The world can really make you believe that the wrong things are priority, and it makes you really miss the core of life, what it means to be alive.”
In 2021, Forbes estimated Rihanna’s net worth at $1.7 billion, trailing only Oprah Winfrey as the world’s richest entertainer. “A lot of women felt there were no lines out there that catered to their skin tone. It was light, medium, medium-dark, dark,” Shannon Coyne, co-founder of consumer products consultancy Bluestock Advisors, told Forbes about Rihanna’s successful beauty products. “We all know that’s not reality. She was one of the first brands that came out and said, ‘I want to speak to all of those different people.’”
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, the tantalizing starlet delivered hit after hit with songs like Umbrella, Rude Boy, and Diamonds. With over 100 million social media followers, Rihanna’s fans have pleaded with their idol to deliver new music. But with her Fenty and Savage X Fenty business white-hot, Rihanna appears to have settled in as an entrepreneur and business magnate.
Cutting deals with Puma in 2014, Dior in 2016, Fenty Beauty in 2017, Savage X Fenty in 2018, and Fenty Skin in 2020, Rihanna kept her business focused.
Forbes writer Madeline Berg described Rihanna’s rise this way: “When Robyn Fenty, known to the world as Rihanna, launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, she sought to create a cosmetics company that made “women everywhere (feel) included.” A perhaps unintended consequence: The beauty line has helped her enter one of the world’s most exclusive ranks: Billionaire.”
Berge concluded by providing commentary from Coyne. “She is creating a brand outside of herself. It’s not just about Rihanna. Even if you don’t like her music, she’s created a real style in the fashion and beauty space.”