According to Forbes, the 33-year-old is now worth more than $1.7 billion — so being named the richest female musician and second only Oprah Winfrey was the wealthiest female entertainer
Although many know Rihanna for her music - by the hit singles Umbrella and where Have You Been to We Found Love and Work — she actually achieved the bulk of her income through her fashion and beauty brands.
Forbes said that Fenty Beauty, launched in 2017, has contributed to the singer's wealth – about $1.4 billion in 2017.
The cosmetics company gained instant fame for its originality of all skin tones, generating more than $550 million in annual revenue in its first calendar year. At the time, Fenty Beauty was one of the first brands to introduce a variety of foundation shades and was particularly popular among women of color.
The brand, currently sold online and in North American Sephora stores, is a 50 - 50 joint venture between Rihanna and fashion powerhouse LVMH — the conglomerate behind luxury brands such as Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton.
In recent years, there's been an explosion of celebrity beauty brands with Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Jessica Alba and Lady Gaga all packing their names behind big makeup and skincare lines.
Rihanna is the most successful among the A-list pack, according to Forbes.
Besides Fenty Beauty, Rihanna also heads a successful fashion and lingerie company, Savage X Fenty.
Launched in 2018, the brand raised $115 million in funding, raising its valuation to over $1 billion. Forbes estimates that Rihanna holds a 30% ownership interest.
The singer's success speaks to the larger story of female entrepreneurs, especially within Hollywood.
On Monday, Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon reached an agreement to sell her production company Hello Sunshine to a Blackstone-backed media company. The New York Times estimated that the deal valued Hello Sunshine at about $900 million.
Meanwhile, I was crowned a billionaire in April while Kim Kardashian was governor.
Forbes listed the reality star in its annual World's Billionaire List report, citing her lucrative businesses, KKW Beauty and loungewear company Skims, as catalysts for her billionaire status, in addition to additional cash from her reality series Keeping up with the Kardashians and endorsement deals.