On Wednesday morning, Forbes announced that Rihanna had officially entered the billionaire ranks with a net worth of $1.7 billion. Over the next few hours a thousand tag-along articles popped up from every corner of the internet. And rightfully so. It's a big and impressive headline.
Let me just be clear: I love Rihanna and I want her to be a billionaire so badly. But, longtime readers of Celebrity Net Worth know that I have picked a bone with Forbes' assessment of Rihanna's net worth for several years.
Today I'm surrendering. I give up. Is Rihanna a billionaire? Sure. Why not.
For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a little background –
Back in June 2019, Forbes published the somewhat-stunning claim that Rihanna was worth $600 million. That was news to us here at Celebrity Net Worth, who have been tracking Rihanna's wealth meticulously since September 27, 2009 (I just looked in our database). Six hundred million smackers was roughly four times what we had pegged for RiRi before the Forbes article was came out.
So, with an open mind I read Forbes' assertions. I came away a bit confused to say the least. Keep in mind, this was just four months after Forbes claimed Kylie Jenner was a billionaire. We also disagreed with this claim and were ultimately proven correct when Forbes had to issue a retraction a year later.
According to Forbes' article at the time, Rihanna was worth $600 million thanks to the Fenty Beauty line she created in partnership with luxury conglomerate LVMH. Fenty Beauty reportedly generated $100 million in its first few weeks after being launched in September 2017 and then generated $570 million total revenue through the end of 2018.
Here's a key section of the 2019 article I want to point out:
"Sales continue to soar. Fenty Beauty generated an estimated $570 million in revenue last year, after only 15 months in business. The entire operation is worth, conservatively, more than $3 billion. Forbes estimates that LVMH owns an estimated 50% of it, while Rihanna has about 15%, a figure a spokesperson for the artist disputed but wouldn't clarify further."
[Source: Forbes "How Rihanna Created A $600 Million Fortune – And Became The World's Richest Female Musician". June 4, 2019.]
On Wednesday, Forbes estimated that Fenty Beauty was worth $2.8 billion. Note, that's actually $200 million less than what in 2019 was "conservatively" estimated at "more than $3 billion."
But most importantly, in their recent article Forbes now says Fenty Beauty is a "50-50 joint venture" [between Rihanna] "and French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH."
That's key right there. 50%, up from 15%.
Maybe Forbes had it wrong in 2019? But then what else was wrong in 2019 or today? And the valuation of Fenty has decreased in 2.5 years? That also doesn't line up with the claim in the current article that valuations of cosmetics businesses have sky rocketed…
So look, I'm not hear to pick a fight or cause stink. As I said at the beginning of this article, I surrender. I'll be clear:
Rihanna is a billionaire.
For those who think I'm just a hater, you could not be more wrong. I love Rihanna more than most. I mean, anyone else remember back in September 2013 when Rihanna was Twitter feuding with Teyana Taylor and used CelebrityNetWorth as the ultimate slam dunk?
In the midst of a heated war of words over Twitter, Rihanna changed her social media background photos to a side-by-side comparison of their respective net worths from CNW. She then tweeted "I hate broke bitches." That nuclear bomb ended the war pretty quickly:
This still stands as one of my proudest life achievements.
Congrats to Rihanna. In addition to being the richest female musician in the world, you are now the sixth-richest celebrity in the world and easily the coolest billionaire in history 🙂