From nearly being bankrupt in 2009, Pop star and fashion entrepreneur, Robyn Rihanna Fenty widely known as Rihanna, has officially earned herself a spot on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List as she is now worth over $1 billion.
Business Insider reports Rihanna started 2009 with $11 million in cash and ended the year with $2 million.
The 33-year-old fall in income was attributed to ill advice from her ex-accountant who she later sued for managing funds incorrectly, keeping an unfair amount of profits, and not properly filing taxes, according to the HuffPost. Rihanna went on to win the lawsuit against Berdon LLP in 2012, coming out on top with a $10 million settlement.
Since her 2009 woes Rihanna and her fanbase, The Navy, haven’t looked back. With the new spot, Rihanna has now become the wealthiest female musician in the world and second only to Oprah Winfrey as the richest female entertainer, Forbes reports.
However, the Barbados-born businesswoman did not become a billionaire majorly through music that she is mostly known for.
According to Forbes;
The bulk of her fortune (an estimated $1.4 billion) comes from the value of Fenty Beauty, of which Forbes can now confirm she owns 50%. Much of the rest lies in her stake in her lingerie company, Savage x Fenty, worth an estimated $270 million, and her earnings from her career as a chart-topping musician and actress.
Rihanna took a break from the music scene launched cosmetic brand, Fenty Beauty in 2017 as she sought to create a cosmetics company that made “women everywhere (feel) included.”
While Rihanna isn’t the only celebrity to capitalize on her social media presence —she has 103 million followers on Instagram and 102.7 million on Twitter—to build a beauty brand, she is the most successful beauty entrepreneur to do so.
Fenty Beauty, which is a 50-50 joint venture with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (run by Bernard Arnault, the world’s third richest person worth $150b), launched in 2017 with the goal of inclusivity.
Available online and at Sephora stores, which are also owned by LVMH, the products were an instant success.
By 2018, its first full calendar year, the line was bringing in more than $550 million in annual revenues, according to LVMH, outrunning other celebrity-founded brands like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty and Jessica Alba’s Honest Company.
Although cosmetics sales was slow-paced during the pandemic, beauty companies are gradually experience an increase in their worth. Stocks of larger beauty conglomerates like Estée Lauder and L’Oreal have bounced back, reaching all-time highs and trading at impressive 7.5 (or more) times annual revenues.
In its annual report for 2020, LVMH said Fenty Skin, which launched last year, was off to a “very promising start” and “generated unprecedented buzz,” and that Fenty Beauty “maintained its appeal as a premier make up brand.”
The company, which launched in 2018 as a joint venture with TechStyle Fashion Group, has blue-chip investors like Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners and private equity firm L. Catterton (in which Bernard Arnault is an investor) as shareholders.
Rihanna maintains a 30% ownership stake, Forbes estimates. The latest round of funding will reportedly be used for customer acquisition and retail expansion.
Sadly, despite this much success, some fans are concerned about her absence from the music scene. The singer, who used to release an album almost every year, hasn’t released a new album since 2016’s Anti.
However, Rihanna could be returning to music sooner rather than later thanks to her singer boyfriend, A$AP Rocky.
On July 11, the couple were spotted looking cozy in the Bronx, New York, ahead of what appeared to be the filming of a new music video.
The music video is seemingly part of A$AP’s up-and-coming album, All Smiles. In an interview published in May, therapper revealed to GQ that he recorded the album’s music while on a road trip alongside Rihanna, and that the singer has “absolutely” been an influence and source of inspiration throughout his creative process.