Rihanna is officially a billionaire. Here’s how her game-changing beauty and fashion lines helped her land among the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

  • Rihanna has officially become a billionaire, Forbes reported this week.

  • The singer, actress, and entrepreneur derives most of her wealth from her two businesses.

  • Lingerie brand Savage X Fenty is valued at $1 billion, while Fenty Beauty is worth $2.8 billion.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty has officially reached billionaire status.

The Barbados-born singer, actress, and entrepreneur is now worth $1.7 billion, Forbes reported this week, making her the richest female musician in the world and the wealthiest female entertainer besides Oprah Winfrey.

Though she’s been making hit records since she was 17, most of Rihanna’s fortune stems from her business ventures – namely, her makeup and skincare brand, Fenty Beauty, and her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty.

Here’s how Rihanna went from one of the world’s biggest pop stars to a fashion and beauty mogul in her own right – and, now, a billionaire.

Rihanna grew up around music, but her first big break came in 2003 when she met record producer Evan Rogers while he was on vacation in Barbados. Over the subsequent year, Rogers helped her record a few demos, which were sent off to record labels.

Rihanna speaks into a microphone at a news conference in 2006

Rihanna in 2006. DANIEL SANNUM-LAUTEN/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Forbes, The Guardian

She was invited to audition for Def Jam, where she impressed rapper Jay Z – then the label’s president – and record executive L.A. Reid. She was signed to the label in 2005 and her first single, “Pon de Replay,” became a worldwide hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Rihanna sitting onstage singing wearing a pink dress in 2006

Rihanna performs on MTV’s “Total Request Live” in 2006. Jason DeCrow/AP

Source: Billboard, Billboard

She released her first album, “Music of the Sun,” in 2005. Since then, she’s released seven more albums – most recently, “Anti,” which came out in 2016.

Rihanna performs onstage wearing black leather outfit in 2007

Rihanna performing in New York City in October 2007. Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

Source: Rolling Stone

She’s now sold over 60 million albums and won eight Grammy Awards, and has earned millions from her music: In 2016, following the release of “Anti,” she took home $2.5 million from music sales and $7.6 million from streaming, according to Billboard.

Rihanna holding Grammy Award next to Jay Z onstage

Rihanna and Jay Z accepting a Grammy for “Umbrella” in 2008. Kevork Djansezian/AP

Source: Roc Nation, Billboard, Insider

Rihanna has also grossed millions from touring. Her 2013 Diamonds World Tour earned her more than $140 million, and ahead of her 2016 Anti World Tour, she signed a $25 million sponsorship deal with Samsung.

rihanna concert

Rihanna performing at a concert in 2011. Carlos R. Alvarez/Getty Images

Source: Insider

Rihanna’s first foray into business came in 2011 when she released her first fragrance, Reb’l Fleur – the scent reportedly garnered $80 million in sales in its first year. She quickly followed up with another scent, Rebelle, and has subsequently released nearly a dozen fragrances in total with another on the way via her beauty brand, Fenty.

Rihanna holds Reb'l Fleur fragrance bottle at Macy's event

Rihanna attends the Reb’l Fleur fragrance launch at Macy’s Herald Square in April 2011. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times, The Cut, Rolling Stone

Over the years, she’s inked deals with fashion companies like Puma – where she’s served as creative director – River Island, Armani, Dior, CoverGirl, and MAC.

Rihanna stands in front of Puma and Fenty wall at fashion show

Rihanna attends the Fenty Puma by Rihanna fashion show in 2016. Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Source: Time, Insider

In 2015, Rihanna took a stake in music streaming service Tidal. Six years later, Jack Dorsey’s Square acquired the company for $297 million, reportedly netting Rihanna and the other artists involved nearly $9 million apiece, according to Variety.

rihanna tidal

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Source: Insider, Variety

But Rihanna’s ascendance to mogul status kicked into high gear in 2017, when she launched Fenty Beauty. The brand’s goal from the get-go has been to promote inclusivity in the beauty industry by offering products made for a broad array of skin tones.

rihanna fenty beauty

Rihanna at a Fenty Beauty display inside Sephora. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty’s immediate popularity sparked a trend in the beauty industry: After the brand introduced foundations and concealers in 40 different shades, other companies followed suit, a major shift for an industry that has often underserved women of color.

A row of Fenty Beauty products in a variety of shades

An array of Fenty Beauty products backstage at Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show. Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

Source: Vogue

Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in partnership with French luxury-goods giant LVMH, which owns half the company. Rihanna previously owned 15{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} of Fenty Beauty, but has since upped her stake to 50{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0}, according to Forbes.

Rihanna applies Fenty Beauty makeup to a model onstage

Rihanna applies Fenty Beauty products to a model in 2018. Mark Ganzon/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty

Source: Forbes

Just a year after launch, Fenty Beauty was bringing in over $550 million in annual revenue. These days, the line is worth at least $2.8 billion, Forbes estimates.

Rihanna poses with hands under her face at Fenty Beauty launch in London

Rihanna poses for photographers upon arrival at the Fenty Beauty launch in London in 2017. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Shortly after launching her beauty empire, Rihanna introduced another venture: Savage X Fenty, a size- and skin-tone-inclusive lingerie line. The brand carries lingerie in sizes up to 3X and includes nude color options in a wide range of shades.

Rihanna Savage X Fenty

Rihanna poses with underwear and bras from her Savage X Fenty line. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty

Source: Vogue, Insider

The company’s annual fashion show, which is streamed on Amazon Prime Video, consistently includes a diverse cast of models with varying body types and gender expressions, a stark contrast to the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows of yore.

rihanna savage fenty

Rihanna at a Savage X Fenty fashion show. Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Savage X Fenty’s investors include Jay Z’s Marcy Venture Partners and L. Catterton, a private equity firm that counts LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault as an investor. Last February, the company raised $115 million in fresh funding at a $1 billion valuation.

Models pose at the Savage X Fenty lingerie fashion show

Models from the Savage X Fenty fashion show in 2018. JP Yim/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty

Source: Forbes

The company may now be considering expanding in Europe and adding new lines like athleticwear, The New York Times reported last December.

Savage X Fenty storefront in Las Vegas

A Savage X Fenty pop-up in Las Vegas in 2018. Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty

Source: The New York Times

Rihanna’s entrepreneurial ventures have had some hiccups along the way. In February 2020, Savage X Fenty was the subject of a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission for promoting discounts that are only available to customers who pay a $50 monthly membership fee. A spokesperson for the brand said at the time that the complaint was “based on misconceptions of our business.”

Rihanna's face partly in shadow at Savage X Fenty fashion show

Rihanna talks to media backstage after the Savage X Fenty show in 2018. Diane Bondareff/AP

Source: The New York Times

In 2019, LVMH announced that Rihanna would launch her own luxury fashion line known simply as “Fenty,” making her the first woman to create her own brand at the renowned luxury house. But earlier this year, the brand decided to press pause on the ready-to-wear line “pending better conditions.”

Rihanna poses with LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, his wife, and the US ambassador to France

From left: US ambassador Jane Hartley, Rihanna, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, and Helene Arnault after the Christian Dior show in 2015. Rindoff/Le Segretain/Getty Images for Dior

Source: The New York Times

The decision came after the pandemic forced Rihanna to stay in Los Angeles rather than fly to Europe to oversee the collection, and amid a wider slow-down in the luxury fashion industry during the pandemic. The line had also struggled to find its footing from the start, with The New York Times describing it as too expensive and “more derivative than groundbreaking.”

rihanna

Rihanna attends The 2019 Fashion Awards in London. Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images

Source: WWD, The New York Times

Still, those rare missteps seem not to have dented Rihanna’s fortune. At just 33, she’s amassed a beauty and fashion empire and built a net worth of $1.7 billion.

Rihanna

AFP/Getty Images

Source: Forbes

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