America’s youngest self-proclaimed female billionaire didn’t grow up in a Manhattan skyscraper or the Hollywood Hills. Instead, Rihanna amassed her fortune through her own music and businesses.
Recently, the 34-year-old singer and CEO of Fenty Beauty graced Forbes’ annual list of America’s richest self-made women for the third year in a row. She ranked 21st overall and is the only billionaire under 40 on the list. Part of Rihanna’s $1.4 billion net worth comes from her successful music career. Most come from its three retail companies: Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin and Savage X Fenty.
In March, Bloomberg reported that Savage X Fenty lingerie was working with advisers on an IPO that could potentially be valued at $3 billion. Rihanna owns 30% of this company. She also owns half of Fenty Beauty, which generated $550 million in revenue in 2020. The other half of the company is owned by French luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH.
The numbers are impressive, but Rihanna said she doesn’t focus on valuations and accolades. In 2019, she told The New York Times’ T magazine that because she never planned on making a fortune, hitting financial milestones “wasn’t going to stop me from working.”
The nine-time Grammy winner also said she wants to donate the money to important causes anyway. “My money isn’t for me, it’s always the thought that I can help someone else,” she said. “The world can really make you believe that bad things take precedence, and it really makes you miss the core of life, what it means to be alive.”
In 2012, Rihanna launched a philanthropy fund, the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF). It aims to “support and fund innovative initiatives in education and climate resilience,” according to its website.
One of its first initiatives, launched a year after the foundation launched, has raised $60 million for women and children affected by HIV/AIDS through sales of the company’s lipstick line. singer with MAC Cosmetics. And in January, CLF partnered with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s #SmartSmall initiative to donate a combined $15 million to 18 different climate justice groups.
This money is intended for organizations “focused on and led by women, youth, Black, Indigenous, people of color and LGBTQIA+ communities” in the United States and the Caribbean, according to the CLF website.
“At [CLF]much of the work is rooted in the understanding that climate-related disasters, increasing in frequency and intensity, do not impact all communities equally, with communities of color and island nations facing the brunt of change climate,” Rihanna said in a January statement.
The next youngest billionaire on Forbes’ list is Kim Kardashian, 41, who has a net worth of $1.8 billion. Kardashian and her sister Kylie Jenner — who, at 24, is the youngest non-billionaire on the list, with a net worth of $600 million — have also found success in entertainment and retail, including their respective makeup lines.
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