Tech

How Rihanna Nearly Went Bankrupt, Then Rebuilt Her $1.7B Net Worth


Rihanna is a musical icon. 

Since the release of her first studio album, the woman born Robyn Rihanna Fenty has since sold more than 60 million albums and 215 million digital tracks, making her the second-best-selling digital artist of all time, reports Business Insider. 

But, as her devoted fans — also known as the Navy — know, she refused to simply be known for her music. In 2014, Rihanna became the creative director at Puma and released her first collection with the brand under the name FENTY X PUMA featuring a Creeper shoe that sold out within three hours, according to Footwear News.

That was just the first of many business ventures that culminated in her net worth becoming a whopping $1.7 billion.

But as AfroTech previously reported, things haven’t always been easy.

In 2007, around the time Rihanna released the hit “Umbrella,” she had a net worth close to $50 million. But just two years later, the songstress-turned-entrepreneur faced bankruptcy. Business Insider reports Rihanna started 2009 with $11 million in cash and ended the year with $2 million. Her fall in income was attributed to ill advice from her ex-accountant who she later sued for managing funds incorrectly, keeping an unfair amount of profits, and not properly filing taxes, according to the HuffPost. Rihanna went on to win the lawsuit against Berdon LLP in 2012, coming out on top with a $10 million settlement.

And that’s when things took a turn for the better.

In 2017, she made history when she became the first Black woman to partner with luxury conglomerate LVMH, and so far that business endeavor has been her most lucrative. 

Of the $3 billion company, Rihanna reportedly holds a 15 percent stake and has created several luxury brands under the LVMH umbrella. Rihanna built a makeup line, Fenty Beauty, a billion-dollar lingerie brand Savage X Fenty, and skincare company Fenty Skin. 

And that’s just the beginning of how Rihanna amassed her $1.7 billion net worth. Let’s take a look at just a few of her many other business ventures.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.

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