Popstar-turned-fashion mogul Rihanna has added yet another string to her impressively varied bow: America’s youngest self-made female billionaire.
The 34-year-old de-throned fellow A-lister Kim Kardashian, 41, to earn the title, after amassing an impressive net worth of $1.4 billion through her many ventures, including music, fashion, and beauty.
Her phenomenal financial success was first revealed in June, when Rihanna was featured in Forbes’ annual list of America’s richest self-made women, on which she was ranked 21st. She is the only woman under the age of 40 to feature in the line-up.
Kardashian previously landed the title of youngest self-made billionaire woman in 2021, when she was featured on Forbes’ list of billionaires, ranking 2,674th, having increased her fortune from $780 million to $1 billion between October 2020 and April 2021.
Rihanna’s newest claim to financial fame comes four months after Bloomberg revealed that the singer was working with advisers on taking her lingerie company, Savage X Fenty, public through an initial offering that would value the company at $3 billion.
Rihanna has earned herself the title of America’s youngest-self made female billionaire after amassing a fortune of $1.4 billion at the age of 34, according to Forbes
While Rihanna shot to fame as a singer, the bulk of her wealth comes from her ventures in beauty and fashion; in March, it was revealed she was preparing to take her Savage X Fenty label public with an IPO that would value the company at $3 billion
The Umbrella singer also boasts a 50 per cent stake in her popular cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty, which is worth $2.8 billion
The company was understood to be working with banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to value its worth and gauge demand. A listing was expected to happen as soon as this year, but the company hadn’t yet made an official decision on when, or if, it will go public.
Rihanna officially became a billionaire last August – making her the richest female musician in the world and the second richest female entertainer after Oprah Winfrey.
The Umbrella songstress has racked up $1.4 billion throughout her decade-long career – the majority of which has come from her fashion brands and her skincare and cosmetics company Fenty Beauty, Forbes reported at the time.
It was claimed that the bulk of the popstar’s money comes not from her singing career, but from her 50 per cent stake in her acclaimed cosmetics line Fenty Beauty – a joint venture with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH – which is now worth $2.8 billion in total.
Between that and her $270 million stake in her wildly successful Savage X Fenty lingerie line, combined with the profit she has made from her 16-year recording career as a chart-topping singer and actress, all make up the hitmaker’s massive wealth.
Rihanna has had plenty to celebrate in the last few months; as well as her business successes, the popstar also became a mother for the first time in May, when she welcomed a baby boy with her long-time friend-turned-fiance, ASAP Rocky.
Barbados-born Rihanna was discovered in 2003 in her home country by American record producer Evan Rogers, who sent her demo to Def Jam Recordings.
It eventually fell into the hands of Def Jam’s president Jay-Z, who invited her to come in and perform and instantly fell in love with Rihanna – and the rest is history.
She went on to become one of the best-selling music artists of all time – having currently sold more than 250 million records worldwide for her hits like Pon de Replay, Umbrella, SOS, Unfaithful, Good Girl Gone Bad, and Don’t Stop the Music, to name a few.
The bulk of the popstar’s money ($1.4billion of it) comes from her 50 per cent stake her cosmetics line Fenty Beauty and her $270million stake in her Savage X Fenty lingerie line
But how exactly did she go from a teen popstar to a billion-dollar businesswoman? FEMAIL has broken down her impressive career from start to finish. She is pictured performing in 2011
She also starred in a few movies and became a big name in the fashion industry for collaborating with brands like Armani, Dior, and Puma.
She put her music career on pause in 2017 to focus on her business ventures, launching an enormous cosmetics company called Fenty Beauty – which includes products like foundations, highlighters, bronzers, blush, and lip glosses, and has surpassed other celebrity cosmetics brands such as Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty in sales.
A year later, she expanded the company with her Savage X Fenty lingerie brand, which sells underwear that comes in a variety of sizes to fit all kinds of people.
She has also released a luxury fashion house called Fenty and a skin care brand called Fenty Skin, and there’s rumors that she’s currently gearing up to release a line of hair-care products called Fenty Hair.
Rihanna’s endeavors have made her one of the most well-known stars in Hollywood, and have earned her more than a billion dollars along the way.
But how exactly did she go from a teen popstar to a billion-dollar businesswoman? FEMAIL has broken down her impressive career from start to finish.
Rihanna’s meteoric rise as a popstar: How she went from a poverty-ridden childhood in Barbados to chart-topping musician
The top-charting artist grew up with an abusive father who left at 14, forcing her to care for her siblings while her mom worked. She is pictured as a teen with her mom
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, Rihanna was the daughter of an accountant named Monica and a warehouse supervisor named Ronald. She is pictured throughout her childhood
She was signed by Def Jam Recordings in 2005 after record producer Evan Rogers discovered her and sent Def Jam’s president, Jay-Z, her demo. She is pictured as a kid
Rihanna may be one of the biggest stars in the world now, but it took a lot for her to get there.
The top-charting artist didn’t have the easiest childhood – growing up with an abusive father who left the family at 14, forcing her to care of her siblings while her mom worked to keep the family afloat.
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, Rihanna was the daughter of an accountant named Monica and a warehouse supervisor named Ronald.
She grew up in a three-bedroom house in Saint Michael, Barbados, with her two brothers, two half-sisters, and a half-brother. As a child, she helped her dad sell clothes in a stall on the street.
She later said that her father physically abused her mother and that he suffered from alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction.
‘I hated him. Then, one of my school friends, who I was very close to, she knew, and she always used to say, “You can’t hate your father,”‘ Rihanna later recalled to the Guardian, adding that he was the one who taught her how to swim, ride a bike, and the other milestones as a kid.
‘You have to love him, at the end of the day, because he’s your father. So I listened, as much as it took out of me.’
She also said on Oprah, ‘He taught me everything. As awful as he was to my mom at times, it didn’t compare to how great he was as a father.’
Her debut single, Pon de Replay, came out in May 2005 and went to the number two spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. She is pictured in the music video
Her first three albums – Music of the Sun, A Girl Like Me, and Good Girl Gone Bad dropped in August 2005, April 2006, and May 2007. She is pictured in 2006 (left) and 2007 (right)
She dropped Rated R in November 2009, and her fifth album, Loud, came out in November 2010. She is pictured in 2009 (left) and 2010 (right)
She then released Talk That Talk in November 2011, Unapologetic in November 2012. She is pictured in 2011 (left) and 2012 (right)
Over the years, she landed the top spot on the charts many times – earning 14 number one singles over the years. She is pictured in 2013 (left) and 2014 (right)
Her parents split when she was 14, and she later recalled staying home to watch her siblings, specifically her younger brother, while her single mom worked to support the family.
‘My mom was a single mom, so she worked a lot. She was really never home – I mean, she was home, but it would be after work, late at night, so I would take care of [my brother],’ she said to the Guardian. ‘He was my best friend. He thought I was his mom.’
During school, she was an army cadet in a sub-military program, and musician Shontelle was actually her drill sergeant.
‘It wasn’t compulsory or anything. But picture me and Rihanna in combat boots and fatigues crawling through mud and things like that,’ Shontelle told BBC years later.
In 2003, while she was still in high school, Rihanna decided to form a musical trio with two of her classmates.
After landing an audition with Rogers, she instantly blew him away, with him later saying, ‘The minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn’t exist.’
‘We sang as a group,’ Rihanna recalled to the Guardian, ‘And then we sang individually, and Evan expressed an interest in helping me get a solo deal.
‘It was a really difficult place to be, because obviously I didn’t want to hurt my friends’ feelings, I didn’t want to betray [them], but it was a reality. We had auditioned together, and individually, and that was it.’
He signed her to his and Carl Sturken’s production company, Syndicated Rhythm Productions, and flew her to the U.S. to record some demos, which he sent to Def Jam Recordings.
Initially, it was said that Jay-Z – who was the president and CEO of Def Jam – felt Pon de Replay was ‘too big’ for Rihanna when he first heard the demo, but after she sang it for him in-person in early 2005, he signed her immediately.
She also sold out numerous world tours and collaborated with tons of big artists like Eminem, Kanye West, Calvin Harris, and Nicki Minaj. She is pictured in 2015 (left) and 2016 (right)
Throughout her career, she has received many awards, including nine Grammys, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and 13 American Music Awards. She is pictured in 2018 (left) and 2019 (right)
Rihanna (pictured in 2020) also signed a $25 million contract with Samsung, and teamed up with Tidal, becoming a co-owner of the music streaming service
She then moved to America and recorded her first album, Music of the Sun. Her debut single, Pon de Replay, came out in May 2005 and went to the number two spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The album hit stands in August of that year and received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over two million copies worldwide.
Her second album then came out in April 2006, entitled A Girl Like Me, which charted top 10 in 13 different countries.
She then continued to make music – dropping albums Good Girl Gone Bad in May 2007 and Rated R in November 2009.
In October 2010, she switched managers and joined Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Management. Her fifth album, Loud, came out in November 2010 and also had much success.
In addition to singing, she is also an actress and has graced the screen in a few big movies like Bring It On: All or Nothing in 2006 and the war movie Battleship in 2012 (pictured)
She also acted in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (alongside Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne), and the heist comedy Ocean’s 8 (pictured)
She also starred in the fifth season of Bates Motel (pictured) and voiced the main character in the DreamWorks animated flick Home (which also starred Jim Parsons and Jennifer Lopez)
She then released Talk That Talk in November 2011, Unapologetic in November 2012, and Anti in January 2016.
Over the years, she landed the top spot on the charts many times – earning 14 number one singles – sold out numerous world tours, and collaborated with tons of big artists like Eminem, Shakira, Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, and Britney Spears.
Throughout her career, she has received numerous accolades for her music, including nine Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 13 American Music Awards, and eight People’s Choice Awards.
In addition to singing, she is also an actress and has graced the screen in a few big movies like Bring It On: All or Nothing in 2006, the war movie Battleship, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (alongside Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne), and the heist comedy Ocean’s 8.
She also starred in the fifth season of Bates Motel and voiced the main character in the DreamWorks animated flick Home (which also starred Jim Parsons and Jennifer Lopez).
In 2015, she signed a $25 million contract with Samsung to promote their Galaxy products. She also teamed up with Tidal in 2016, becoming a co-owner of the music streaming service.
Rihanna’s takeover of the fashion industry: How she launched her billion-dollar business
While Rihanna’s focus was mainly on her music throughout the first part of her career, she always had a love for fashion, and released her own cosmetics line called Fenty Beauty in 2017
Fenty Beauty became a leader in providing diversity in the makeup industry when it first launched 40 shades for its foundation line. Rihanna is pictured modeling for the brand
While Rihanna’s focus was mainly on her music throughout the first part of her career, she always had a love for fashion.
Rihanna landed her first fashion venture in 2011, when she became the face of Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans.
She then released a fragrance called Reb’l Fleur in 2011, which reportedly grossed $80million that year. She also dropped three more perfumes over the years.
In 2013, she teamed up with British brand River Island to release four different clothing collections, and became the creative director of the fashion sportswear Puma in 2014.
She was the face of Dior in 2015, and in November of that year, she launched her own beauty and stylist agency with Benoit Demouy called Fr8me.
It was designed to helped aspiring artists book commercials, photoshoots, red-carpet appearances, and ad campaigns.
The makeup company reportedly made $100million in sales over its first few weeks, and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 best inventions of 2017
By the end of its first full calendar year in 2018, LVMH said the brand took home $550million in annual revenues. Rihanna is pictured at Fenty Beauty’s launch
In 2016, she collaborated with Puma again to release her own clothing line. Then, in 2017, Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty under LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton with a desire to ‘make women everywhere (feel) included.’
LVMH is a French holding multinational corporation and conglomerate specializing in luxury goods, headquartered in Paris.
In 2021, it became the most valuable company in Europe, controlling around 60 subsidiaries and 75 different brands, including Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and Bulgari.
They also own Sephora, which helped Fenty Beauty first step into the scene, launching in Sephora stores in more than 150 countries and reportedly making $100million in sales over its first few weeks.
Fenty Beauty went on to become a leader in providing diversity in the makeup industry – with more than 40 shades for its foundation – and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 best inventions of 2017.
By the end of its first full calendar year in 2018, LVMH said the company took home $550million in annual revenues. Her makeup is now being sold in more than 150 countries around the world, and the brand turned into a billion dollar business in less than four years
Rihanna previously said while discussing her brand, ‘Makeup is there for you to have fun with. It should never feel like pressure.
‘It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.’
By the end of its first full calendar year in 2018, LVMH said the brand took home $550million in annual revenues.
The brand turned into a billion dollar business in less than four years.
In 2018, the fashion icon expanded with her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty as a joint venture with TechStyle Fashion Group – which also owns JustFab and Fabletics.
The underwear line which sells affordable lingerie for men and women in sizes ranging from extra small to 4XL.
Rihanna said that she hope to help people ‘feel represented’ in her Savage X Fenty stores.
The Love On The Brain hitmaker explained that she wants customers to step out of her boutiques, which just opened five locations in places like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, ‘feeling confident’ and like they ‘belong.’
The 34-year-old fashion told Refinery29: ‘The whole idea of the retail space is that I wanted women and men to come in and feel represented, to walk away from the experience feeling confident and that they belong.
‘I’ve experienced being a customer and shopping in the lingerie space and have felt as if I didn’t fit the mold of the product.
‘But Savage X Fenty is very inclusive, and I want to continue to expand on that so that our consumers can feel our commitment within the retail space.’
Savage x Fenty is now worth an estimated $1billion – with Rihanna maintaining a 30 per cent stake in the business – and is anticipated to be the market’s leader by 2025.
In 2018, the fashion icon expanded with her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty – which sells affordable lingerie in sizes ranging from extra small to 4XL. She is pictured at its launch
Savage x Fenty is now worth an estimated $1billion – with Rihanna maintaining a 30 per cent stake in the business – and is anticipated to be the market’s leader by 2025
Last year, Savage X Fenty saw revenue growth of more than 200 per cent and ‘increased its active member base by 150 per cent.’ Rihanna is pictured modeling for Savage X Fenty
In July 2020, she launched Fenty Skin, which offers makeup-removing cleanser, pore-refining serums, and moisturizing sunscreens, and it had sales of $30million in under four months
Last year, Savage X Fenty saw revenue growth of more than 200 per cent and ‘increased its active VIP member base by more than 150 per cent.’
While LVMH wasn’t part of the initial launch of Savage X Fenty, a second round of funding for the brand back in February 2021 secured a whopping $115million for Savage X Fenty, with L Catterton, a private equity firm that fashion house LVMH has a stake in, taking a percentage of the line.
In September, Savage X Fenty held its third fashion show in New York City, featuring celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens and 1990s supermodel Cindy Crawford on the catwalk.
Current supermodels like Gigi Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski also stomped the runway alongside Erykah Badu, Jeremy Pope, Alek Wek, and others.
In 2019, she released clothes, accessories, and footwear under her luxury fashion brand Fenty, however, she then put it ‘on hold’ to focus on her ‘cosmetics, skincare, and lingerie’ instead
In 2019, she released clothes, accessories, and footwear under her fashion brand Fenty, which she also teamed up with LVMH for.
The Fenty clothing label was tailored to the high-end market, whereas Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty are said to be more affordable.
Rihanna used several stars as ‘ambassadors’ of her brand including Nicole Williams of WAGS and Kylie Jenner’s best friend Stassie Baby. Tale Of Tails actress Blanca Blanco modeled the line for Valentine’s Day.
‘I’m not the face of my brand, but I am the muse, and my DNA has to run all the way through it,’ she said upon the launch of Fenty clothing. ‘I don’t want anyone to pull up my website and think, Rihanna would never wear that.’
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rihanna announced that she was putting the brand ‘on hold’ in February 2021 to focus on her ‘cosmetics, skincare, and lingerie’ instead.
‘On Fenty fashion, we are obviously still in a launching phase and we have to figure out exactly what is the right offer. It’s not something that is easy. We were starting entirely from scratch,’ LVMH chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony also said at the time, according to The New York Times.
‘Obviously, we have the great help from Rihanna on this, but I would say it’s still a work in progress when it comes to really defining what the offer will be.’
In July 2020, she launched Fenty Skin, which offers makeup-removing cleanser, pore-refining serums, and moisturizing sunscreens, and it had sales of $30million in under four months on its e-store, WWD reported.
In March, the superstar also filed a trademark for a line of haircare products and tools, ranging from shampoo to hair glitter, under the name of Fenty Hair.
While many fans are excited about her continuing successes in the fashion world, some are upset that it’s allegedly gotten in the way of her music.
Her ninth studio album has continued to get pushed back, and although she hasn’t stated that it’s because of her business ventures, many people believe her fashion brands have played a part in her music’s delay.
As of December 2019, she had confirmed that the album was finished, but she has yet to share any more details – including a release date – leaving many of her avid fans desperately waiting for her new music.
Rihanna’s troubled love life: How she made her business boom while going through heartbreak
During the height of Rihanna’s career, the mogul became entangled in a messy domestic violence case against rapper Chris Brown. They are pictured together in 2013
She and Brown began dating in 2007, but they split in February 2009, when reports emerged that Brown had physically assaulted her. They are pictured together one day before the assault
Police said he beat, choked, bit, and threatened to kill Rihanna. A photo obtained by TMZ showed the singer battered, with bruises all over her swollen face
In June 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault and received five-years of probation and was ordered to stay 50-yards away from his ex. Rihanna and Brown are pictured at his trial
During the height of Rihanna’s career, the mogul became entangled in a messy domestic violence case against rapper Chris Brown.
She and Brown began dating in 2007, and they were together for two years before they split in February 2009.
Around that time, reports started to surface that said Brown had physically assaulted her on their way home from a pre-Grammys party, with police later saying he beat, choked, bit, and threatened to kill Rihanna.
He eventually turned himself into authorities and was charged with assault and making criminal threats. A photo obtained by TMZ showed Rihanna battered, with bruises all over her swollen face.
‘It was a turning point,’ she later told the Guardian about the incident. ‘It was the end of an incredible year, an incredible album [Good Girl Gone Bad], the beginning of a new era, and it just felt like it was a wake-up call for me, and it had to happen.
‘As bad and as terrible as it was, there’s so much great that came out of that situation.
‘Even for [Brown], like, he knows now that he’s never going to do that again. And now, young girls also, they learn from it, and I really hope young men can learn from it.
‘Even more than the girls, the men really need to learn from it. Because everyone’s focusing on the women, but the problem isn’t the women.
‘Before, young girls would look at me, and they thought my life was perfect, but now they realize that it’s not.
She then entered into an on-and-off relationship with Drake, which lasted from 2009 to 2016. They are pictured together in 2016
She was then linked to Saudi businesssman Hassan Jameel from 2017 to 2020. They split after three years together due to ‘their lives being too different.’ They are pictured in 2019
There was also rumors that she dated baseball player Matt Kemp throughout 2010. They are pictured together in January 2010
She has also been linked to Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, soccer star Karim Benzema, Lewis Hamilton (left), rapper Travis Scott (right), and actor Leonardo DiCaprio
‘Nobody’s perfect. I’m living the same human life that they are, just with a more public career – and when they realize that I do go through dumb stuff like that – all of a sudden that makes me human for them. So now I feel really strong, but I also feel very open – in a good way.’
She added: ‘I don’t want that stamp going across my head as a victim of domestic violence.
‘As much as I was, that’s a part of my life that I want to throw away, that I never want to go through again.’
In June 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault and received five-years of probation and was ordered to stay at least 50-yards away from his ex.
While speaking to Larry King about it later that year, he called the night ‘one of the worst moments of his life.’
‘We’re both young, nobody taught us how to love one another. No one taught us a book on how to control our emotions, our anger,’ he said.
After King showed Brown the photo of Rihanna’s face, he added, ‘That’s not who I am as a person. I don’t know what to think.’
She then entered into an on-and-off relationship with Drake, which lasted from 2009 to 2016.
They were first spotted smooching in a bowling alley in Los Angeles, soon after her relationship to Brown ended.
The pair was seen together many times over the years, and during a speech he gave for Rihanna’s Video Vanguard honor at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2016, he called her ‘someone he’s been in love with since he was 22.’
She started dating her current boyfriend, ASAP Rocky in 2021, and in January 2022, they announced that they were expecting their first child together. The couple welcomed a baby boy in May
The two had been acquainted ever since the early 2010s, when they began performing and touring with each other. They are pictured in 2021 (left) and 2022 (right)
They remained friends for much of the decade before People confirmed that they were officially dating in the fall of 2020. They are pictured together in February 2022
The billionaire (pictured on March 1, 2022) welcomed her first child – a baby boy – in May
However, by 2018, the star told Vogue that she and Drake were no longer on speaking terms, but that they were not ‘enemies.’
She briefly rekindled her romance with Brown in 2013. She was then linked to Saudi businessman Hassan Jameel from 2017 to 2020.
They split after three years together due to ‘their lives being too different,’ a source told People.
She later opened up about trying to balance her work and their relationship, explaining, ‘I got into a new relationship, and it matters to me. It was like, “I need to make time for this.”
‘Just like I nurture my businesses, I need to nurture this as well. I’ll shut things down for two days, three days at a time. On my calendar we now have the infamous “P,” which means personal days. This is a new thing.’
She started dating her current boyfriend, ASAP Rocky in 2021, and in January 2022, they announced that they were expecting their first child together. The pair welcomed a baby boy in May.
The two had been acquainted ever since the early 2010s, when they began performing and touring with each other.
They remained friends for much of the decade before People confirmed that they were officially dating in the fall of 2020.
Over the years, there were also rumors that she dated Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, baseball player Matt Kemp, soccer star Karim Benzema, Lewis Hamilton, rapper Travis Scott, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
She currently owns a $14million penthouse in Manhattan, New York, and a $9million house in London, England. In December 2018, she put her Hollywood Hills home up for sale, which reportedly sold for $10.4million.