Rihanna: Entertainer, Luxury Mogul, and Billionaire

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Spring 2024

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A singer, actress, fashion designer, makeup guru, and businesswoman—who says women can’t do it all? Hard work and, of course, indisputable talent pay off (literally), and Rihanna is living proof of that. As of August 2021, Rihanna is the latest member of the billionaire club. According to Forbes, the 33-year-old icon is worth $1.7 billion, making her the wealthiest female musician in the world. 

Discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers in her home country of Barbados in 2005, Rihanna was only 16 years old when her rise to stardom began. CEO Jay-Z of DefJam’s Recordings invited the teen to audition, and in typical Rihanna fashion, she left with a six-album record deal. Remember “Pon de Replay”? The Barbadian-inspired song, meaning “play it again,” sold a whopping two million copies and topped the global charts, instantly launching the singer to fame.

Rihanna’s Barbadian pop, rhythm-and-blues style, and versatile vocals were influenced by singers like Bob Marley, Madonna, Mariah Carey, and Janet Jackson. In 2007, Rihanna shifted away from her Caribbean music roots and the era of “good girl gone bad” began. That turning point in her career took her from teen pop star to legendary icon almost overnight. The edgy, sexy, bad girl RiRi gave us bangers like “Umbrella,” which to no surprise was named the pop song of the summer, dominating the Billboard charts for 52 weeks in a row and earned Rihanna the first of many Grammys in 2008. From 2009, Rihanna blessed us with a new top-selling album each year. Becoming the youngest artist to achieve 10 number-one singles with S&M, RiRi concluded 2011 with six Grammys under her belt. 

As if her incredibly successful music career wasn’t enough, Rihanna found Hollywood, or better yet, Hollywood found Rihanna in 2012. Starring in films like Home and Ocean’s 8 in 2018, Rihanna shared the big screen with Hollywood icons Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, and Sarah Paulson. 

Rihanna’s creativity has not only made her a mogul in the entertainment world but has sparked various entrepreneurial and humanitarian pursuits. Appearing on 70 magazine covers, Rihanna’s immaculate fashion sense and cutting-edge looks brought her partnerships with ArmaniRiver Island, and Puma. Moreover, in 2014 she reminded us of having a heart of gold when she used her lipgloss campaign with MAC to support women and children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. 

Another year filled with success for beloved fashionista was 2017 when Harvard University awarded her Humanitarian of the Year. In September that same year, Fenty Beauty launched in conjunction with Sephora. The brand carried 40 shades of foundation and went on to arguably be the most inclusive beauty line out there. The following year, Rihanna released the Savage Fenty line with 90 pieces of lingerie, accessories, and sleepwear inclusive sizing. 

With the 2020 release of the uber-successful Fenty Skin line of skincare products and Rihanna fans awaiting her ninth album, Rihanna has officially become a billionaire. Rihanna’s ability to conquer anything she does leads us to believe that she’s only just begun. You go, RiRi!

Brooke Parker | Contributing Writer

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Chelan Simmons

Chelan Simmons is an actress and former model. Known for her roles as Ashley Freund in Final Destination 3, Helen Shyres in 2002 television film