Rihanna has emerged as the richest female musician in the world, with a fortune considerably larger than those of the grandes dames of pop: Madonna, Céline Dion and Beyoncé.
The 31-year-old, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is worth a staggering $600 million (Ksh60.7 billion), according to Forbes — overtaking Madonna by $30 million (Ksh3 billion), Dion by $150 million (Ksh15.2 billion) and Beyoncé by $200 million (Ksh20.2 billion).
While Rihanna is best known for hits such as “Umbrella,” “Diamonds” and “What’s My Name?,” her music is not the only source of her wealth.
In fact, according to Forbes, the majority of her income comes from her partnership with LVMH, the French luxury goods company that owns the likes of Christian Dior, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton.
Last month, the Barbadian star launched her fashion label Fenty at a pop-up boutique in Paris, becoming the first black woman to create an original brand with LVMH.
Fenty is just the latest of Rihanna’s business ventures, joining her lingerie label Savage X Fenty, which she launched last year, and her cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, set up in 2017.
The cosmetics firm generated an estimated $570 million (Ksh57.7 billion) in revenue in its first 15 months, according to Forbes, while the business magazine estimates that the operation is worth, conservatively, more than $3 billion (Ksh303 billion).
While LVMH owns about half of that, Forbes estimates Rihanna’s stake at around 15% — though this could not be confirmed.
CNN has contacted Rihanna’s representatives for comment
The clothing collection is her first venture into the luxury fashion market, although she has already created collections for British fashion retailer River Island, and was made creative director of Puma in 2014.
Rihanna’s other ventures have been widely celebrated for their inclusivity. Her cosmetics line debuted with 40 foundation shades, while her lingerie line has been applauded for catering to a range of skin tones and body types. Her fashion line, meanwhile, caters for women up to a size US 14.
In a statement released last month, Rihanna said: “Women are forces of this earth. We are multifaceted, complex, vulnerable yet bulletproof, and Fenty speaks to all of our intricacies.”
The singer recently revealed in an interview with the New York Times Style Magazine that she has moved to London to be closer to LVMH. During the interview, Rihanna revealed just how far she has come from her humble upbringing on the Caribbean island to where she is today.
She said: “You know, when I was younger, I couldn’t afford everything, but a pair of Timberlands: That was my Dior. And I had to save my money for a whole school year to get those Timberlands that I wanted, and I did it.”
It’s that background that also informs her business acumen. She told the magazine: “It’s the thing that keeps me asking: So how much is this gonna cost at retail? How can we bring the price down without compromising on quality?”
So will she slow down now or is the plan to continue to work, work, work, work, work, work?
She told the magazine: “I never thought I’d make this much money, so a number is not going to stop me from working. I’m not being driven by money right now. Money is happening along the way, but I’m working out of what I love to do, what I’m passionate about. Work will change when my life changes in the future but an amount of money is not going to stop that.”