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Rihanna is a billionaire now, but not because of her music

Rihanna, pictured in May 2019 as she unveiled her first fashion designs for Fenty, has been declared a billionaire by Forbes. (Francois Mori/AP)

The latest Rihanna news once again has nothing to do with her long-awaited next album, but with her status as a beauty and fashion mogul: She is a billionaire now, according to Forbes.

The financial magazine estimated Wednesday that the 33-year-old singer, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is worth $1.7 billion — making her the wealthiest female musical artist in the world, and the second-richest woman in entertainment after Oprah Winfrey. Forbes attributed $1.4 billion of Rihanna’s wealth to the success of the Fenty Beauty brand, of which she owns 50 percent, and the rest to her Savage X Fenty lingerie company and earnings from her career in music and film.

Fenty Beauty is a 50-50 joint venture with LVMH, the French luxury goods company behind brands including Christian Dior, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs. Fenty drew consumers in right off the bat with an inclusive, 40-shade range of foundations, reportedly making $100 million in the first few weeks after it launched with Sephora in September 2017.

While conversing with her “Oceans 8” co-star Sarah Paulson for Interview magazine in June 2019, Rihanna said that “with every business outlet, I’m making something from a vision to a reality, and that’s the thing I really enjoy. Music had led me to these other outlets, and to things that I genuinely love. My mom pretty much worked in the beauty and perfume industry for a long time — she did makeup for people and was a makeup artist — so I always loved that.”

Rihanna also noted elsewhere in the interview that the balancing act of managing various business ventures is part of “the reason why an album isn’t being spat out like it used to.”

“I used to be in the studio, only the studio, for three months straight, and an album would come out,” she said. “Now, it’s like a carousel. I do fashion one day, lingerie the next, beauty the next, then music the next. It’s like having a bunch of kids, and you need to take care of them all.”

A Vogue profile from later that year confirmed that Rihanna was working on her ninth studio album, her first since 2016′s “Anti.” In March 2020, she told the magazine she could not announce the release date, but that she was “aggressively working on music.”

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