Rihanna isn't just one of the most successful musical artists of the past decade; she's one of the most successful artists period. With 14 singles that have topped the Billboard Hot 100 and well over 250 million albums sold around the world, the Barbados-born singer has seen highs few musicians have or will have seen.
An international superstar with some of the biggest singles in the history of the Billboard charts, Rihanna has made plenty of money on her esteemed pop career. And yet it's a distant second for her in terms of how she has made her money, now that she is also a successful businesswoman.
At just 31 years of age, Rihanna is already one of the richest people in the music industry with no signs of stopping. How much is she worth?
Rihanna's Net Worth
As of this writing, Rihanna is estimated to have a net worth of $600 million. Recently, Forbes used this figure to make the claim that Rihanna is the wealthiest female musician in the entire world. In becoming so, she surpassed artists like Madonna, Beyoncé and Celine Dion - all of whom had successful careers years (if not decades) before Rihanna. And with her business expanding rapidly, expect that figure to grow as well.
Though the bulk of Rihanna's worth comes from her Fenty Beauty line of cosmetics, for most she is known as a singer and icon of pop music. So let's start there.
Discovered at an early age after starting a group with her classmates, producer Evan Rogers had Rihanna demo songs while still in school. These demos made it to Jay-Z at Def Jam Recordings, who brought her in to audition for the label and signed her immediately after.
Included in these demos was what became her first single, "Pon de Replay." The song quickly became a huge hit, charting around the world and peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. This momentum helped push her 2005 debut album, "Music of the Sun," to a top 10 debut on the Billboard 200 and an eventual gold certification.
Nearly as soon as her debut album dropped, Rihanna and her producers went straight to work on the follow-up. This paid off and kept her from staying out of the public eye too long. She released her sophomore album, "A Girl Like Me," in 2006. Its first single, "SOS," was one of the biggest hit songs of the year, netting Rihanna her first Hot 100 No. 1 hit. Two other singles from the album, "Unfaithful" and "Break it Off," would also reach the top 10, establishing Rihanna as one of the biggest rising stars in music.
All of this early success would end up being a preamble to even greater heights. 2007 saw the release of Rihanna's third album, "Good Girl Gone Bad," and its leadoff single is possibly still her best known song: "Umbrella." The song, which featured Jay-Z, topped the charts in several countries, including the U.S. (for seven straight weeks) and the U.K. (for 10). The album remains her highest-selling and spawned two additional top-10 singles in the U.S., and when it was reissued in 2008 with three new songs, two of them ("Disturbia" and "Take a Bow") would also top the Hot 100. That same year, she featured on T.I.'s number one hit "Live Your Life." In an instant, Rihanna had become the biggest pop star in the world.
2009's "Rated R" was yet another success for Rihanna, as three singles reached the top 10. This included "Rude Boy," which became her fifth single as lead artist to top the Hot 100 and sixth overall. She would reach the top for the seventh time as a featured artist in 2010 on Eminem's monster hit "Love the Way You Lie," which would be certified an astonishing 12x platinum in the U.S. Her incredible streak of success continued unabated later that year as she released her fifth album "Loud." The album would produce three more No. 1 hits for Rihanna: "Only Girl (In the World)," "What's My Name?" and "S&M." That meant by early 2011 Rihanna was 23 years old and already had 10 No. 1 hits to her name.
Her 11th came later that year. Her collaboration with Calvin Harris, "We Found Love," was the first single off her 2011 album "Talk That Talk" and became both her biggest-selling single and one of the most successful singles in the history of the Billboard charts. In 2012, she would release the album "Unapologetic," and with it another huge chart-topping hit, "Diamonds."
Rihanna would continue to have great success over the next several years, but by the impossible standards she set for herself through the first eight years of her career it could be considered a down period of sorts: she didn't have another No. 1 hit as a lead artist until 2016 (though she featured on Eminem's No. 1 "The Monster" in 2013, as even Rihanna's least successful periods have chart-toppers). During this period she put out various hit singles (such as her collaboration with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, "FourFiveSeconds") but no albums.
In 2016, though, she returned with the album "Anti." The album was initially released as a Tidal exclusive, as Rihanna was one of the artists with a co-ownership stake in the streaming service. The album spawned "Work," a single that featured Drake which saw her return to the top of the Hot 100. The album would see two other singles, "Needed Me" and "Love on the Brain," hit the top 10.
Rihanna's singles and tours have been some of the most successful in the history of recorded music. But as we've said, the majority of her wealth actually comes from Fenty Beauty.
Named after her surname (she was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty), Fenty Beauty was launched in 2017 with the help of luxury fashion conglomerate LMVH (LVMUY) . This was not Rihanna's first foray into the world of cosmetics, as she had released several fragrances over the years. But the Fenty Beauty line took everything to a new level of success. Bolstered by Rihanna's image and reputation, Fenty Beauty made $100 million in sales in just its first few weeks, and Forbes reported that after just 15 months of business, the company had generated $570 million in revenue.
A large part of Fenty Beauty's success is also what drew it a lot of critical praise: the wide range of shades offered for Fenty Beauty products have provided makeup options for many women of color that other brands haven't. In May, Rihanna and LVMH launched Fenty, a luxury fashion line.
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