Beauty and Fashion Keep Rihanna in the Top 10 of Forbes' Highest Paid Women in Music

Rihanna attends the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Anniversary Event at Sephora Pitt Street store on October 3, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.
Rihanna attends the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Anniversary Event at Sephora Pitt Street store on October 3, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.
Photo: Caroline McCredie (Getty Images for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna)

Never knock your side hustle. That’s the lesson to be learned from the music industry’s—and now, the fashion and beauty industry’s—favorite bad gal, who has increased her net worth through the runaway successes of Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty. How else can you explain Rihanna’s maintaining the seventh place spot on Forbes’ Highest Paid Women in Music 2018 list, despite neither releasing a new full album nor touring since 2016?


After successful collabs and campaign spots with Puma and Cover Girl, among others, Rih’s decision to launch her own cosmetic and lingerie lines in 2017 and 2018, respectively, proved a winning strategy, netting her $37.5 million during Forbes’ scoring period, which calculated pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018.

Of course, co-starring in Ocean’s 8 didn’t hurt. While not a success on the level of her other ventures, the film, in addition to a couple of chart-topping musical features and very high-profile magazine covers, kept Rihanna firmly in the public eye, and looking like all she does is win, win, win.

Other winners this year? Predictably, there was Beyoncé, who dropped from 2017's top spot to No. 3 behind Katy Perry, who catapulted to a shocking No. 1 from last year’s No. 9 slot. Then again, who’d guess Pink would be No. 4, or that No. 2 would be Taylor Swift, whose most recent tour exceeded the scoring period, as did Bey’s On The Run II tour with husband Jay-Z? Despite giving birth to twins Rumi and Sir in June 2017, Bey’s history-making headlining performance at Coachella in 2018 and joint album with Jay-Z kept her among the highest earners in the game.

But what’s abundantly clear is that as the music industry continues to struggle with full album sales and artist longevity, multiple streams of income are clearly proving more lucrative than album streams alone.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?


Blogger X that music? just because your ‘side hustle’ keeps you rich doesn’t put you above musicians who do the damned thang. love me some rhianna but making money in beauty and cosmetics doesn’t make her a better singer or musician. but i guess it does to you.