Although Rihanna hasn’t released an album in more than three years – it’s clear the work, work, work, work, work she’s putting into her other business ventures is paying off.
The singer is the richest female musician in the world according to Forbes’ annual rich list.
RiRi has an estimated fortune of $600m (£471m) with the bulk of that coming from her Fenty beauty range.
She’s overtaken Madonna and Beyonce, who previously topped the list.
You could be forgiven for forgetting Rihanna even makes music – her last studio album Anti came out in 2016.
However, the 31-year-old has been putting her efforts into her beauty, lingerie and clothing ranges.
Rihanna – real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty – launched Fenty Beauty in September 2017 and it’s estimated it racked up sales of $100m (£78m) in its first few weeks.
Forbes estimates that the company generated $570m (£448m) last year.
Experts say Rihanna’s invested her money wisely.
“Globally the entire beauty industry is worth $480bn (£377bn) – in 2018 the UK market was valued at $17bn (£13bn),” says Hannah Symons, global beauty manager at Euromonitor International.
Hannah’s job is to track the growth of the beauty industry – looking for trends.
“Rihanna’s success clearly doesn’t come off the back of the music although that’s how she initially gained fame.
“It’s all about her relevance and how she resonates with customers online. She’s very connected to her fans through social media and she’s always updating them on the newest products and things like launch dates,” Hannah adds.
As well as her beauty range, Rihanna also has a lingerie line and recently made history by becoming the first woman to have a clothing range with French company Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH).
Hannah thinks part of Rihanna’s success is she’s appealing to a very wide audience.
“A lot of the people buying her products are not people who were buying her music. Rihanna has been around for 15 years but the people buying her products are aged 16-19, so wouldn’t have been around when she started making music.
“And it’s not just because she caters for darker skin tones either, she also caters for people at the paler end of the spectrum. And it’s this inclusive element that makes her stand out.
Hannah says she’s also been wise partnering with a high street retailer, making her products more accessible.
Richest female musicians 2019
- Rihanna – £472m
- Madonna – £448m
- Celine Dion – £350m
- Beyonce – £314m
Reality TV star Kylie Jenner, YouTuber Zoella and Kim Kardashian-West have all successfully launched beauty products too but Hannah Symons says that a celebrity putting their name to something doesn’t guarantee it’ll be a success.
Kylie Jenner’s beauty range is projected to break the $1bn threshold
“We see it a lot in fragrances. Look at Beyonce for example, who is one of the biggest stars in the world. We saw her put her name to a fragrance but it didn’t do that well.
“And that’s because it probably wasn’t inherent in the personality or values of Beyonce. What Rihanna has done is let her products reflect her values and her personality.”
Hannah says skincare is projected to be the biggest growth area of the beauty industry – so it’s no surprise both Rihanna and Kylie Jenner have recently trademarked products with the word “skincare” in the name.
And with Rihanna’s earnings expected to keep growing – her day job might be as a musician – but guess you can’t fault her for not rushing back into the studio.
Doesn’t sound like she’s struggling to pay the bills…