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

Superstar Rihanna’s net worth is now estimated at $1.7 billion US, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday, making her the richest female musician in the world. But despite her success in the industry, music is not the primary source of her wealth.

The Barbados-born singer, whose birth name is Robyn Fenty, derives an estimated $1.4 billion of her fortune from her 50 per cent stake in the Fenty Beauty cosmetics line, Forbes reported.

The rest of Rihanna’s wealth comes from her share of the Savage x Fenty lingerie company and her income as a singer and actor, the magazine said.

It’s been years since the 33-year-old has released an album. Her most recent releases, Anti and Unapologetic, topped Billboard’s charts, but were released five and nine years ago respectively. 

Instead, Rihanna has focused on her various business ventures. Her beauty company, half of which is owned by the French luxury goods group LVMH, is known for its broad range of 50 skin tones, including dark shades for women of colour — a rare option when it launched in 2017.

Rhianna’s Fenty Beauty on display at Sephora on Robson Street in Vancouver. (Richard Grundy/CBC)

This made it a leader in inclusivity in the industry, while some critics heralded it as the first major fashion house of the Instagram age. 

Her Savage x Fenty line, meanwhile, has been credited with upending the industry, and toppling fellow company Victoria’s Secret as the premiere lingerie brand. 

Still, earlier this year LVMH and Rihanna announced the singer’s Fenty fashion label would go on a hiatus “pending better conditions.” Both pledged to continue the long-term development of the “Fenty ecosystem,” and the continuation of Savage X Fenty, Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin, the Rihanna’s skincare line. 

The Umbrella and Love the Way You Lie singer now ranks second, behind only Oprah, as the richest female entertainer, Forbes said. 

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