It’s official—Rihanna is the wealthiest female musician in the world.
Barbadian singer and entrepreneur Rihanna is shining bright like a diamond. $1 Billion worth of diamonds. It seems like yesterday she just hit the scene with “Pon de Replay.” That was in 2005 for anyone who needs to feel how quickly they’re aging. And now, she’s a seemingly untouchable, 33-year-old self-made billionaire.
We expected that Rihanna would break through the “pop star” money ceiling one day, but never to this extent. It’s not that we underestimated her, of course. It’s just that $1 billion is a lot of money—1% kind of money. How did you do it, girl?
Rihanna has a wildly successful music career and a popular line of fashion, perfume, and skincare. The sheer number of fans and consumers who see her as one of the most trustworthy and powerful cultural figures in North America is mindblowing. Second, only to Oprah, Rihanna is now the world’s richest female entertainer. She joins the highest echelon of celebrity moneymakers—exceeding them, even. But what separates her from the likes of Paris Hilton or the Kardashians is that she does not come from generational wealth. Rihanna built her empire from scratch, talent, and hours upon hours of work.
Knowing this makes the announcement of her net worth all the more interesting and exciting. She’s a groundbreaking woman, self-made and still making it. So if anyone’s going to turn a billionaire, we’re happy it’s her. A net worth of $1.7 billion. Wow.
Rihanna’s Net Worth Explained
The secret to Rihanna’s net worth is in her fashion brand, Fenty. Rihanna owns half of Fenty. Her business partner, LVHM (Louis Vuitton), owns the other half. Rihanna is at the top of LVHM Maison. This makes her the first black woman involved with LVHM to achieve this level of success. She’s also the first woman to design an original brand with the group.
In its first year, Fenty cosmetics brought in $558 million. Her lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, was also launched in 2018 with TechStyle Fashion Group. TechStyle is a subscription-based fashion platform. You may already be familiar with them through Kate Hudon’s Fabletics line.
Savage x Fenty’s Valuation
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The announcement of Savage x Fenty’s $1.4 billion valuation came after a round of Series B fundraising.
“Series” fundraising is a way for startups and other businesses to land the investments they need to grow. Series B is concerned with venture capital firms that are looking to invest in later-stage growth.
Savage x Fenty secured the funding they needed to launch a line of athletic wear through private equity firm L Catterton. Along with their brand partner, LVHM, Fenty released a statement to WWD (via Forbes). They assured their continued efforts to create and follow through with long-term development and growth.
Other notable investors in this round included Marcy Venture Partners, Avenir, and Sunley House Capital. Altogether, Fenty and LVHM raised $115 million to expand their product line.
Savage x Fenty Lingerie Ethics
Savage x Fenty has a name, an identifiable message, and a reliable product. Rihanna’s lingerie line is particularly successful because of the brand’s efforts to cater to body type inclusivity. Her brand also comes with a healthy dose of women-identifying empowerment. And this success has made the company’s partner, LVHM, pay very close attention to the brand throughout the years.
As Rihanna told Vogue, “Women should be wearing lingerie for their damn selves.” Sticking to this sentiment, the Savage x Fenty lingerie advertisements do not come off as a “seduce him in the bedroom” product. They more typically align with a “celebrate your body” product; anyone can feel sexy in this lingerie, no matter size, shape, color, or history.
It’s a confident brand with a smart, socially conscious marketing team that has fabulously conveyed that message. It also works as a “savage” social media game, with over 3.9 million followers on Instagram.
This isn’t just some marketing scheme to capitalize on trending inclusivity and diversification efforts, however. About the brand, Rihanna stated, “We don’t believe in division. We do not believe in excluding anyone.” She further emphasizes that this was Fenty’s message from the beginning, and it’s not going to change.
Authenticity builds consumer trust, and with a message like that, Rihanna, we trust you. A lot of people trust you.
According to Forbes, Savage x Fenty lingerie is currently on a trajectory to be the world’s—yes, the entire Earth’s—leading lingerie brand by 2025. Last year, despite the unemployment rates, despite the countless other major brands that threatened Section 8 or applied for it, the company posted revenue growth of 200%.
If you can survive 2020 with a 200% revenue growth in a market that experienced a 93% decline in profit, you know you’ve got something good—even after LVHM shut down Fenty fashion house earlier this year.
Fenty Cosmetics & Fenty Skin
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The Fenty name is not just lingerie. Before it started taking on textiles, it was all cosmetics. And Rihanna certainly has not parted from it. Revenue diversification at its best.
Unlike the fashion industry, the beauty industry has been growing about 3% annually. Now, in 2021, it is currently worth $511 billion. This is a particularly important point to bring up as LVHM is turning its focus towards Rihanna’s skincare line now that the fashion house is closed for business. Fenty Skin opened mid-pandemic, so we’ll be sure to see a major jump in its sales once LVHM digs in, and therefore, a jump in net worth.
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Because Rihanna’s perfume, Eau de Fenty, hasn’t been around for that long, we can’t say how much it’s worth. But a bottle of it does cost about $120 and should bring in more profit than any of Rihanna’s past perfumes.
How Much of Her Net Worth is Music?
It’s no secret that recording artists don’t make as much money as we think they would from their actual music. If they stay relevant long enough, then yes, there’s definitely millionaire potential. We would venture to say that Rihanna has stayed relevant enough.
A big “but” to this, though, is the fact that Rihanna is what we wrote: a recording artist. Any profits she makes from her music are split between songwriters, producers, and anyone else who has a stake in the royalties and sales. The record label takes their cut, and she gets what’s left. But don’t shed too many tears—do you know how much music she sells?
Even though her album sales aren’t as substantial as other pop stars out there, 33.5 million is pretty impressive. And where she lacks in album sales, she makes up for in digital sales.
Rihanna holds the record of the most digitally downloaded artist, including songs where she is only featured or collaborates. That’s 257.6 million downloads. That said, the bulk of her net worth comes from the Fenty line, music, movies, and touring second. (Apparently, she charges $1 million for tour appearances… in case you wanted to hire her.)
The last time Rihanna released a solo album was in 2016. But honestly, if I had a wildly successful entrepreneurial streak to build on, I wouldn’t either. $1.7 billion is worth not working on solo material for a couple of years. And let’s not forget that no one handed Rihanna her success. She work-work-worked for it. Baby, this is what she came for, and everybody’s watching her.