It’s official: Rihanna has finally joined the Forbes billionaires list! For the first time, the singer and influencer was named a billionaire in 2022. But rather than for her music, she largely owes the title to her widely recognized makeup brand.
Rihanna: The First Barbados Billionaire
According to Forbes, Rihanna has a net worth of $1.7 billion, and she’s the 1,729th richest person in the world. While the celeb started as a musician, she’s now an entrepreneur and brand owner as well. She’s also the first person from her home country of Barbados to become a billionaire, which is a huge achievement for sure.
How did the singer gain so much wealth? Well, her self-made career is mostly based on Fenty Beauty, a makeup brand she founded in 2017. “The cosmetics company, which she co-owns with French luxury retailer LVMH, generated more than $550 million in revenue in 2020,” Forbes wrote. “Her stake in the fast-growing cosmetics company comprises the majority of her fortune.” The brand received more than $550 million in annual revenue in just its first year. Now, Fenty has five brick-and-mortar stores in California and Las Vegas. But Rihanna still retains 30% ownership despite the company’s growth.
There are tons of celebrity brands out there. Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, and even Scarlett Johansson have started their own makeup companies as well as many social media influencers. But Fenty Beauty sets itself apart. The four-year-old fashion brand garnered a ton of fans thanks to its inclusivity and incredible quality. In 2017, Fenty Skin was one of only a few companies to include such a wide variety of skin tones in one palette. Women of color prefer Fenty Skin with its various shades and flawless formula to this day.
Rihanna’s Reaction to Her Billionaire Status
So, how does Rihanna feel about her Forbes inclusion? “It’s scary,” she told Extra’s Rachel Lindsay. “I do think about it all the time. I make it a point to think about it, because I… get scared when, you know, the pedestal comes into play and we’ll put you up there and they keep wanting to put you up there…I’m like, ‘No, I want to be on the ground.’ I want to feel my feet on the ground because I know it’s not going to be a fall at all if anything, right?… I don’t want to be this icon… I want to remember who I am.”
But as Lindsay pointed out in the interview, being a woman of color with such a huge net worth will always put her on a pedestal, as it inspires other women and young girls. “I think that is what makes it worth it,” Rihanna said. “That’s what I want. That’s what I worked for. I want to be able to share my inspiration, I want to be able to be an inspiration, and I want to be inspired by even my fans, people who look up to me, I look up to them…And it’s mutual respect that I have because I wouldn’t be here without them.”