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Rihanna appears on Forbes’ list of billionaires for first time

She's joined by past collaborators Jay-Z and Kanye West

By Joe Goggins

Rihanna in a screengrab from a GQ interview, 2020
Rihanna (Photo: YouTube)

Rihanna is officially a billionaire, according to the latest list from Forbes.

The Barbadian is pop royalty but it’s her entrepreneurship, particuarly as founder of the Fenty Beauty cosmetics line, that have propelled into the sphere of the world’s very richest. In their 2022 World’s Billionaires list, Forbes place the star at 1,715 on the rundown, attributing the success mainly to her 50% stake in Fenty Beauty but also noting the success of her lingerie collection, Savage v Fenty, her stake in which is said to be worth $270 million.

With Forbes estimating her net worth at $1.7 billion, Rihanna is the richest female musician in the world and, reputedly, the first billionaire in Barbados’ history. She’s joined on the list by past collaborators Jay-Z and Kanye West. The former, with $1.4 billion, is at 2,076, having amassed his fortune through a litany of business and property ventures.The figure has been bolstered this year by the sale of his Tidal streaming service to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey for $302 million, as well as that of a 50% stake in his Armand de Brignac champagne brand to luxury French goods conglomerate LVMH, who also own half of Fenty Beauty.

Meanwhile, the list has West at 1,513, again in large part due to endeavours outwith music, with his Yeezy shoe line and fashion interests the primary driver of his wealth. Forbes estimate he’s worth $2 billion, although, perhaps predictably, he’s disputed that claim, saying that the figure is in fact $7 billion. Overall, the list found that there are 2,668 billionaires in the world, a decrease on last year’s figure, but that their total wealth has increased to $12.7 million.

Elon Musk tops the list for the first time; the Tesla supremo is worth $216 billion, meaning he relegates Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to second place for the first time in four years, where he sits with a comparably paltry $171 billion. The top five was rounded out by LVMH CEO Benard Arnault in third, Bill Gates of Microsoft in fourth and US tycoon Warren Buffett in fifth. Another figure from the world of entertainment to join the list for the first time was ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ director Peter Jackson.

Rihanna has largely put her career in music on the back burner since she founded Fenty Beauty, in a move that has been met with equal parts dismay and delight by her fans and accountants, respectively. Her last album was 2016’s ‘ANTI-‘. She has repeatedly teased new music, hinting in December 2019 that a new album was complete and telling paparazzi late last year to expect fresh material “soon, soon, soon.” She is expecting her first child with rapper A$AP Rocky this year.