Rihanna Joins UK’s Richest Musicians – Will She Reach #1?

Famed singer and businesswoman Rihanna is officially the third richest musician in the UK, which came as a surprise to some, including apparently Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times’ annual list, who stated, “She somewhat caught us by surprise.”

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Considering her competition included icons like Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Mick Jagger, and many missed her move to London, it makes sense that her jump to the top of the UK’s wealthiest musicians came as a surprise – but those following the superstar’s success know that Rihanna’s success is nothing new: she is the best-selling digital artist of all time.

However, Rihanna’s wealth isn’t only from her prolific music career. Her beauty brand Fenty, famous for its wide range of foundation tones from launch, has helped to make her the wealthiest female musician at only 32 years old.

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The Richest Musicians in the UK

The Sunday Times released their annual list of the richest musicians in the UK, which included musical icons in the top ten, like Sting at #10, Ringo Starr at #8, Keith Richards at #6, and even more in the top five, such as Mick Jagger at #5, and Elton John at #4. The only two above Rihanna on the list are Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Paul McCartney, sharing first place.

Paul McCartney on the other hand has seen an increase due to his children’s book, Hey Grandude! illustrated by Kathryn Durst. While Lord Lloyd-Webber still places at #1, he did see a decrease in his fortune this year, due to the pandemic forcing theaters to close. The pandemic also prevented The Sunday Times from from releasing their Irish figures – which will include U2, last year’s #3 – causing some to wonder if Rihanna will eventually be considered #4 for the UK when all the numbers are in.

Regardless of where she actually places in the top 5 however, nobody can deny that her success represents the changing face of success in music in the UK. Other than 30-year-old Ed Sheeran (who is sharing the #10 spot with Rod Stewart and Sting) Rihanna is the youngest musician in the top ten. The majority of those on the list have been famous since the 60s and 70s, while Rihanna’s debut hit was “Pon de Replay” in 2005. 

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Rihanna’s Meteoric Rise

While Rihanna is a tremendously successful recording artist, a massive amount of her wealth comes from her beauty line Fenty – named after the star herself, who was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

“I used Fenty so that you didn’t have to hear the word “Rihanna” every time you saw something that I did,” the star explained to the New York Times, “So Rihanna stayed the music, the person. But these other brands are called Fenty.”

When the brand launched, it included 40 different foundation shades – an unprecedented range. Within two years, the beauty brand had a Media Impact Value (MIV) of $96.2 million.

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She has also co-owned Savage X Fenty, a size and gender inclusive lingerie line, for three years. In 2020 the brand expanded to what would be traditionally considered “menswear” as well – though in an interview at the Savage X Fenty Show, Rihanna was reluctant to state that the boxers were for men: “I wear it, too,” the star said, “I like to be flexible.”

It’s not only the lingerie that plays with traditional shapes, either. Inspired by the star’s personal style, Fenty blends masculinity and femininity.

“I use myself as the muse,” Rihanna told Jeremy O. Harris of the NY Times, “It’s sweatpants with pearls, or a masculine denim jacket with a corset. I feel like we live in a world where people are embracing every bit of who they are.”

Rihanna’s empire continues to grow. This may be her first year appearing on the list of Britain’s richest musicians, but there’s a strong possibility that she may someday be #1.

The Move to London

Perhaps what made Rihanna’s place on a UK list of wealthy musicians surprising to some was the fact that she was included as a UK musician in the first place. The star was born in Barbados and lived in LA and Manhattan for many years – but her move to London came as a total surprise to even her most dedicated fans.

She revealed that she had left the US in an interview with the New York Times T Magazine. The reason for the move? To be closer to the production of the Fenty products in Paris and Italy.

In 2020, Rihanna’s eight bedroom villa in St. John’s Wood, Northwest London, went on the market for the equivalent of $45.4 million. The luxury place also included a home gym, an elevator, two balconies, and a landscaped garden. According to Luxury London, the singer had been renting it for the equivalent of $25.5K a week.

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Sources: The Sunday Times, BBC, Time Magazine, NY Times, Forbes, Luxury London, Billboard


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