How Rihanna, now a billionaire, transcended her challenging youth in Barbados: She said, ‘I left Barbados and didn’t look back.’ A pivotal encounter with Jay-Z at age 16 became her gateway to success.

Rihanna’s rise from a tough childhood in Barbados to a global pop icon and billionaire business mogul is a story of immense resilience and strategic acumen. Her journey highlights not only her musical talent but also her keen understanding of branding and consumer needs. By transcending her roots and using her fame to build a business empire, Rihanna has redefined what it means to be a modern celebrity entrepreneur.

At just 33 years old, Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has already accomplished what many could only dream of in a lifetime. Growing up in a modest home in Barbados, she faced many challenges, including her father’s battle with addiction and the impact it had on her family. Despite these early hardships, music provided a refuge and a path to a new life.

Rihanna is now a billionaire - and the richest woman in pop music. Picture: Getty Images

After leaving home at just 16, Rihanna is now officially a billionaire after launching two mega-successful businesses on top of her chart-topping hits.

Superstar Rihanna is officially in the billionaires club after Forbes reported she’s now worth $1.7 billion — thanks in large part to her popular Fenty cosmetics line. The singer is also the second richest entertainer in the world after Oprah Winfrey.

At just 33 years old, Rihanna is worth a whopping $2.2 billion and is now the richest woman in music and the second richest woman in entertainment, behind Oprah Winfrey.

Rihanna is now a billionaire — and the richest woman in pop music. Image: Getty Images It’s a far cry from the girl who grew up in a modest home in Barbados and used music as a way to escape her abusive father’s battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

But despite her initial success as a pop star, her vast wealth is not due to her music.

Since launching her Fenty beauty brand in 2017, Rihanna has worked hard to build herself into the $1.8 billion empire she has become.

Rihanna's dad Ronald Fenty battled with alcohol and drug addictions. Picture: Getty Images

In fact, she said it’s part of “the reason the album isn’t being spit out like it used to be.”

So how did Rihanna become so rich? Let’s take a closer look at her earnings.

Rihanna’s dad, Ronald Fenty, struggled with alcohol and drug addiction.

Rihanna – real name Robyn Fenty – was raised in Barbados but had a difficult childhood as her father struggled with alcohol and drug addiction.

She told Rolling Stone how he would beat up her mother and even hit her once.

Rihanna tried to get between her parents to break up the argument and once tried to distract them by breaking a glass bottle.

“Domestic violence is not something people want anyone to know about, so she would just hide it in the house,” she said.

Rihanna always wanted to be a pop star. Picture: Getty Images

Rihanna’s parents eventually divorced when she was 14, and she took over as a caregiver for her younger brother while her mother worked full-time.

“I grew up fast, kind of like a second mom,” Rihanna told the Guardian.

In 2013, the singer quietly coaxed her father, Ronald, into a $58,000 Malibu rehab program.

Today, their relationship is strong and she still cares for her father.

“I always wanted to be a pop star”

Rihanna explained that she used music as an escape and “always knew she wanted to be a pop star”.

In 2003, she formed a musical trio with two of her classmates and got a chance to audition for music producer Evan Rogers, who was on vacation in Barbados with his wife.

Evan loved her instantly, later telling Entertainment Weekly that “the moment Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn’t exist.”

Over the next year, Rihanna traveled to Evan’s home in Connecticut to work on her demo album.

With the help of composer Carl Sturken, she created a four-song demo that included Pon de Replay, which became her first hit.

“I left Barbados and never looked back”

Jay-Z signed Rihanna the day he heard her sing and made her a star. Image: Getty Images Rihanna officially moved to the States when she was 16.

“When I left Barbados, I didn’t look back,” she said.

Jay-Z signed Rihanna the day he heard her sing, and made her a star. Picture: Getty Images

“I wanted to do what I had to do, even if it meant moving to America.”

Soon after, her demo landed in the hands of the record label Def Jam.

She tried them on and legendary rapper Jay-Z was so impressed that he signed her “that same day”.

Eight months later, Rihanna released her debut album, Music of the Sun, which went platinum.

Breaking records in the ranking

When she released Good Girl Gone Bad, she lit it up.

She sexed it up when she released Good Girl Gone Bad. Picture: Getty Images

Her follow-up album A Girl Like Me was released in 2006, but it wasn’t until her third album Good Girl Gone Bad was released in 2007 that things really started to pick up.

It featured the hit single Umbrella, which managed to stay at the top of the UK singles chart for 10 consecutive weeks, the longest number-one run for any single of the decade.

She is also listed in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and won her first Grammy Award.

Since then, she has won countless awards and collaborated with legends including Kanye West and Calvin Harris.

She is now the second best-selling female artist of all time behind Madonna, has moved 250 million records, and has had seven of her eight studio albums reach the top 10 in the UK.

But since the release of Anti in 2016, Rihanna has focused more on her business than her music.

A $3.7 billion beauty brand

Rihanna owns half of the company.

Rihanna owns half of the company. Picture: Getty Images

Rihanna launched her cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty back in 2017 with luxury goods giant LVMH, which owns 50 percent of the business.

Aiming to appeal to “every type of woman” and releasing 40 different foundation shades, Riri’s business quickly took off.

In its first two weeks, it generated sales totaling more than AU$13 million, and in less than four years, Rihanna’s makeup brand has turned into a billion-dollar business.

After the first calendar year, the line “generated annual revenues of more than AU$744 million,” Forbes revealed.

It beat Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty, and Jessica Alba’s Honest Company.

Bluestock Advisors co-founder Shannon Coyne explained: “A lot of women felt like there weren’t any lines that suited their skin tone. It was light, medium dark, medium dark, dark.

“We all know that’s not reality. She was one of the first brands to come out and say ‘I want to talk to all these different people!’

Last year she launched Fenty Skin – which is sure to make her even more money.

And Forbes estimated that Fenty Beauty as a whole is worth a whopping AU$3.7 billion and is likely to grow further as LMVH said it has “maintained its appeal as a leading makeup brand”.

A $363 million underwear brand

Savage X Fenty is worth $363 million thanks to Rihanna and her models.

Savage x Fenty is worth $363m, thanks to Rihanna and its inclusive models. Picture: Getty Images

A year after making her mark in the beauty industry, Rihanna launched her Savage x Fenty underwear company.

The lingerie models were noticeably different from other brands like Victoria’s Secret because there were women of all shapes, sizes, and races – including pregnant women.

And the underwear brand even produces its own runway show, streamed on Amazon, with artists like Lizzo.

Speaking about the brand’s first show of 2018, Rihanna said: “I wanted to include every woman. I wanted every woman on stage to have different energies, different races, body types, different stages of their womanhood, culture.”

“I wanted women to feel celebrated and that we started this shit. We own this. This is our country because it really is.”

“Women are running the world right now and it’s a shame for men.”

Thanks to Rihanna’s endorsement, as well as the brand’s inclusive models, it became a huge success and is now worth $363 million.

Makeup through music

Due to the success of her ventures, Rihanna has turned her attention away from her music – which is where the rest of her fortune comes from.

“I lived in the studio, just in the studio, for three months straight and the album came out,” she said. “Now it’s like a merry-go-round.

“One day I do fashion, underwear, beauty, and other music. It’s like having a lot of kids and you have to take care of them all.”

Fans have been desperate for new music, but Rihanna is keeping her mouth shut when we can expect it.

“I can’t say when I’m going to drop,” she told Vogue in 2020 about the possible release of her ninth studio album in the future. “But I work very aggressively on music.

And we can be sure her cash will grow even bigger whenever she releases it.

Rihanna’s journey from a tough childhood in Barbados to becoming a billionaire and one of the most influential women in entertainment is nothing short of inspiring. Her story highlights the power of resilience and the impact of seizing opportunities when they arise. Despite her traumatic early years, Rihanna turned her circumstances around through talent, hard work, and a keen entrepreneurial spirit, expanding her career beyond music into successful ventures in beauty and fashion. As she continues to innovate and expand her empire, Rihanna not only dominates the charts and the business world but also serves as a beacon for female empowerment around the world. Her story is a testament to the fact that real life can indeed contain transformations as dramatic and uplifting as seen in the movies.

Leave a Comment