Singer, makeup entrepreneur, lingerie designer and now the first black woman to head a top luxury fashion house – Rihanna has racked up a $600 million fortune to become the world’s richest female musician, Forbes said on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old – born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados – has amassed wealth exceeding that of Madonna ($570 million), Celine Dion ($450 million) and Beyonce ($400 million), whose husband Jay-Z was just named the world’s first billionaire rap star.
Rihanna’s ranking puts into fresh perspective one of her signature lyrics – “work, work, work, work, work,” which opened her 2016 dancehall smash Work.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2003, she has spun her triumphs in music into entrepreneurial gold, launching her makeup brand Fenty Beauty – co-owned by French luxury giant LVMH – in September 2017 online and with Sephora.
The line found success not least thanks to Rihanna’s fame both on and offline, with some $570 million in revenue last year after just 15 months of business.
She makes the majority of her money from touring and musical releases, according to Forbes, but also co-owns her Savage X Fenty lingerie line.
In May, Rihanna launched a groundbreaking partnership with LVMH to launch a luxury fashion brand based in Paris that will make ready-to-wear clothes, shoes and accessories.
“I just want to see things from my perspective. I’m a young black woman who loves and embraces all of the young people’s ideas and energies – I’m so about that,” she said in Paris recently.
“It is about turning all of that into something luxurious for this fashion house.”
The singer’s explosive rise to music mega-star and global fashion icon did not come without tribulations, including her father’s bids to profit off her name and a highly publicised domestic violence case that saw her then-boyfriend Chris Brown charged in 2009 with assaulting her.
In addition to her venture into luxury fashion, Rihanna has hinted at dropping a new reggae album this year.
“I never thought I’d make this much money, so a number is not going to stop me from working,” she told The New York Times’ T Magazine in May.
“Money is happening along the way, but I’m working out of what I love to do, what I’m passionate about.”