Rihanna’s Net Worth: From a Poor Student in Barbados to One of the Richest Women in the World

People
3 weeks ago

In the dynamic realm of entertainment and entrepreneurship, few names shine as brightly as Rihanna’s. In approximately 20 years, the singer transitioned from being a student in Barbados to becoming one of the wealthiest women globally. According to various authoritative outlets, including Forbes magazine, Rihanna’s Net Worth is estimated to be around $1.4 billion as of 2023. This impressive financial standing secured her the 20th position on Forbes’ America’s Richest Self-Made Women list. But what is the secret to Rihanna’s overwhelming success?

Childhood and Early Health Problems

Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados. She is the daughter of Monica, an accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor. Her mother is Afro-Guyanese, while her father is a Barbadian of African, Irish, English, and Scottish descent.

Rihanna has two brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty, and two half-sisters and a half-brother from her father’s side, each born to different mothers from his previous relationships. Growing up in a three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown, she and her father sold clothes in a street stall. Her childhood was profoundly impacted by her father’s struggles with addictions, contributing to the strain on her parents’ marriage. Rihanna’s father physically abused her mother, and she often tried to intervene in their fights.

During her childhood, Rihanna experienced severe headaches, leading to multiple CT scans. She recalled, “The doctors even thought it was a tumor because it was that intense.” By the age of 14, her parents had divorced, and her health began to improve. Raised on reggae music, she attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and Combermere School, where she studied alongside future international cricketers Chris Jordan and Carlos Brathwaite.

At 11, Rihanna was a cadet in Barbados’ Cadet Corps, with the later Barbadian singer-songwriter Shontelle serving as her drill sergeant. While initially desiring to graduate from high school, she ultimately chose to pursue a musical career.

Early Beginnings in Music Career

In 2003, Rihanna formed a musical trio with two Barbadian classmates and auditioned for American record producer Evan Rogers, who was immediately captivated by her talent. Following a successful audition, she was invited to record demo tapes. Over about a year, intermittent recordings produced tracks like “Pon de Replay” and “The Last Time,” both later included in her debut album “Music of the Sun”. Rihanna signed with Rogers’s production company, Syndicated Rhythm Productions, securing a deal with Def Jam Recordings.

Her demo, initially sent to Def Jam, reached Jay-Z, the label’s president. Despite initial skepticism, Jay-Z invited Rihanna to audition, leading to a meeting with music mogul L.A. Reid. Impressed by her audition, Jay-Z and his team secured a six-album record deal with Def Jam, and Rihanna moved to the U.S. to live with Rogers and his wife.

Under Def Jam, Rihanna’s debut album “Music of the Sun” was released in August 2005. The album achieved commercial success, debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard 200. Her second album A Girl Like Me followed topped the charts in several countries, solidifying Rihanna’s status as a global star.

Evolution of Style

At that time, Rihanna’s Net Worth was still not as impressive, despite staggering success.

In early 2009, Rihanna began crafting her fourth studio album “Rated R” which was released in November 2009. With a darker tone compared to her previous works, “Rated R” debuted at No. 4 on the US Billboard 200 chart and spawned six singles.

While she had been on several tours since her debut in 2005, it wasn’t until the Last Girl On Earth Tour in 2010 that significant touring profits started rolling in for her. The tour, supporting her fourth studio album “Rated R,” generated $40 million in gross revenue.

During the summer of 2010, Rihanna collaborated with Eminem on “Love the Way You Lie,” a global hit that reached No. 1 in over 20 countries and became the biggest-selling song of 2010 in the UK. Later, she co-headlined a tour with Eminem, raking in over $36 million from just six shows.

Chart-Topping Success

Rihanna’s fifth studio album, “Loud,” dropped in November 2010, producing three US Billboard Hot 100 hits: “Only Girl (In the World),” “What’s My Name?” featuring Drake, and “S&M,” with an official remix featuring Britney Spears. “Only Girl (In the World)” earned Rihanna the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording at the 53rd Grammy Awards.

Within a year, she launched the Loud Tour to promote her album of the same name, reportedly earning around $90 million, according to BET. The Loud Tour marked a record-breaking achievement with 10 sold-out nights at The O2 Arena in West London, making her the female artist with the most sold-out shows in the venue’s history. The tour ranked as the seventh highest-grossing worldwide in 2011.

Worldwide Success

In November 2012, Rihanna’s seventh studio album, “Unapologetic,” made an impressive debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. The lead single, “Diamonds,” secured the top spot on the US Billboard Hot 100, marking Rihanna’s 12th chart-topping hit.

To promote the album, Rihanna embarked on the 777 Tour, a compact tour with seven shows in seven countries over seven days. A documentary capturing the tour’s highlights aired on Fox in May 2013, followed by a DVD release the next day, marking Rihanna’s third live long-form video.

The Official Charts Company in the United Kingdom disclosed that Rihanna was the top-selling artist in the country for the past year, with 3,868,000 records sold, securing her position as No. 1 among the 2013 BRIT Awards artist nominees.

Rihanna’s Diamonds World Tour, her fifth headlining concert tour, commenced in March 2013 to promote “Unapologetic.” The tour achieved immense success, grossing $137 million globally and selling out 84 out of the 87 stops, as reported by Billboard.

The Last Album

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/East News

In 2015, Rihanna started working on her latest studio album, “Anti.” She signed a $25 million deal with Samsung, involving her endorsement of Samsung’s Galaxy line of products. In return, Samsung sponsored the release of her eighth studio album and its accompanying tour. Since then, Rihanna has collaborated with stars such as Kanye West, Calvin Harris, Drake, and DJ Khaled.

Although she hasn’t released a new solo album since 2016’s “Anti,” her hiatus from music hasn’t significantly affected her net worth due to her involvement in other projects.

Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show

On September 25, 2022, Rihanna made headlines by announcing her headline appearance at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show, marking her return to the live stage after a hiatus of over five years. This announcement also marked the conclusion of her self-imposed boycott of the event, a stance she had taken in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. The show was met with predominantly positive reviews, with initial reports suggesting a total viewership of 118.7 million across TV and digital platforms, surpassing Katy Perry’s Super Bowl XLIX halftime performance.

Despite delivering an outstanding show, Rihanna did not receive monetary compensation from the NFL for her participation. “We do not pay the artists,” clarified NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter to Forbes in 2016. “We cover expenses and production costs.”

But the singer used the performance as a chance to promote her cosmetics line. She featured Fenty Beauty to touch up her makeup. This earned the brand $5.6 million within 12 hours.

Fenty Fashion Empire

Transitioning effortlessly from the stage to the runway, Rihanna’s influence extends far beyond music. The inception of her fashion line, Fenty, marked a groundbreaking moment in the industry. Fenty not only disrupted traditional beauty standards but also championed inclusivity with its diverse range of products.

In 2019, Rihanna unveiled her collaboration with LVMH, revealing the venture’s name and logo across her social media platforms. In a message of appreciation, she praised LVMH as an ideal partner, expressing readiness for the world to witness their joint creation, “I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and in business, and I’m eager for the world to see what we have built together.”

The debut of Fenty was showcased in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, featuring Rihanna adorned in various garments and accessories from her inaugural collection. This collaboration positioned Rihanna as the first woman of color to lead a house under the LVMH brand, and the first woman to establish an original brand for the group. Fenty represents the first addition to the LVMH brand’s lineup of clothing, shoes, perfumes, and accessories since 1987, joining esteemed brands such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Christian Dior.

Despite the initial hype, Fenty faced challenges amid a global pandemic and fell short of the anticipated success. Signs of trouble emerged in the fall of 2020, marked by the appointment of a new managing director, Bastien Renard, replacing Veronique Gebel as the ready-to-wear executive. LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony acknowledged that the line was a “work in progress,” as reported by WWD.

Savage X Fenty: Redefining Lingerie

Rihanna’s venture into the lingerie industry with Savage X Fenty showcased her keen business acumen. The brand not only redefined lingerie but also celebrated body positivity, earning Rihanna praise for her commitment to empowering individuals of all shapes and sizes.

Savage X Fenty stands as a collaborative enterprise between Rihanna and TechStyle Fashion Group. Commencing its journey as an exclusively online brand, the entire pre-launch promotional campaign unfolded on Rihanna’s Instagram account. The official website made its debut in 2018, coinciding with the opening of a temporary store in Brooklyn, New York, operational during the initial two days of the brand’s launch. Remarkably, the inaugural collection achieved a sold-out status within a mere month of its introduction.

In the year 2018, the company introduced a sleepwear collection, with proceeds dedicated to supporting the Clara Lionel Foundation—an altruistic organization also established by Rihanna.

Savage X Fenty earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s “10 most innovative style companies of 2020.” By 2021, the brand’s valuation had reached an impressive $1 billion, boasting a substantial following of over 4.5 million across various social media platforms.

In 2022, Rihanna declared the forthcoming establishment of Savage X Fenty brick-and-mortar stores in the same year. The initial five locations on the agenda include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Fenty Beauty: A Beauty Revolution

Most of Rihana’s Net Worth is from Fenty Beauty’s worth and revenue.

Her entrepreneurial spirit reached new heights with the launch of Fenty Beauty. This cosmetics line not only emphasized diversity in its product range but also set a new standard for inclusivity within the beauty industry. The brand’s success has solidified Rihanna’s status as a trailblazing business mogul.

In 2017, at the age of 29, Rihanna initiated the debut of Fenty Beauty. Before this venture, she had engaged in collaborations with MAC Cosmetics and unveiled 10 fragrances, but Fenty Beauty marked her inaugural foray into an independent cosmetics brand.

Rihanna articulated that the core objective behind Fenty was to cater to “every type of woman,” embracing “all skin tones.” She elucidated, “In every product, I was like: ’There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl; there needs to be something for a really pale girl; there needs to be something in-between.’”

The inaugural products from Fenty Beauty became available for purchase on September 8, 2017. This launch coincided with Rihanna’s collaboration with Puma during the illustrious New York Fashion Week.

Sales

In just one month after its debut, Fenty Beauty achieved sales totaling $72 million, experiencing widespread sell-outs, particularly for darker shades of foundation, which were consistently in high demand (with even testers frequently absent from stores).

In the UK, Fenty Beauty surpassed MAC Cosmetics as Harvey Nichols’s most successful beauty launch ever. During September, the department store sold one Fenty Beauty foundation every minute and one lipstick every three minutes. The launch significantly contributed to a 17% increase in LVMH’s cosmetic and perfume sales for the third quarter of 2017.

Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s CEO, reported that Fenty Beauty’s sales approached nearly $573 million by the conclusion of 2018. Forbes documented that within its first 15 months of operation, Fenty Beauty generated $570 million in revenue in 2018. The overall enterprise is valued at $2.8 billion, with Rihanna, its CEO, owning 50% of the business.

Philanthropy and Impact

zz/DPRF/STAR MAX/IPx/Associated Press/East News

Even though Rihanna’s Net Worth has reached an unprecedented size, she remains a human with a big heart.

Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, she has demonstrated a profound commitment to philanthropy. Her initiatives, such as the Clara Lionel Foundation, showcase her dedication to education, health, and disaster response efforts, further enhancing her legacy beyond the realms of entertainment and business.

If you think it’s impossible to spend $650 million in 13 years, make sure to read our article to learn how Johnny Depp spent most of his fortune in just a few years.

Preview photo credit badgalriri / Instagram, ANGELA WEISS/AFP/East News

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