Rihanna’s reign refuses to let up because she understands the power of securing the bag

Singer and actress Rihanna poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Ocean's 8' in central London, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
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From the moment Rihanna leapt onto the entertainment scene in 2005 she has been an unstoppable force.

When the then 17-year-old young woman from Barbados released her first single “Pon de Replay” no one knew she was going to reach the incredible levels of success she has today.

Her music has earned her an impressive collection of awards including nine Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 13 American Music Awards (including the Icon Award), and seven MTV Video Music Awards.

With eight albums to her name, her music career has been on pause since the release of her last album, “Anti”, in 2016. And yet, the star has been making a whole lot of noise on a number of creative platforms.

Singer Rihanna poses backstage with her Icon award at the 41st American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

For most artists having such a successful music career would be more than enough but not for the “Umbrella” hit-maker.

When Robyn Rihanna Fenty said, “Success for me isn’t a destination it’s a journey. Everybody’s working to get to the top but where is the top? It’s all about working harder and getting better and moving up and up,” she meant every word.

And just as we think that she has reached the top, she pushes the boundaries even further than we could have imagined.

Even during her singing career she already started dabbling in other forms of entertainment when she surprised her fans and started making waves in Hollywood, which landed a few big leading roles in movies like “Ocean’s 8” in which she held her own beside mega female stars like Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett.

She appeared in few other movies including “Battleship” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”, as well as being the voice of Gratuity “Tip” Tucci in the successful animated movie “Home”.

This image released by Warner Bros. shows Sarah Paulson, from left, Sandra Bullock and Rihanna in a scene from ‘Ocean’s 8’. Picture: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros/ AP

But it’s not her successful music or a perhaps not as successful a movie career that helped her achieve the status of being the wealthiest female musician in the world.

According to Forbes, the 34-year-old is now worth $1.7 billion and that’s all thanks to her beauty empire Fenty Beauty from where the bulk of her fortune (an estimated $1.4 billion) comes.

And now with Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin having launched in the African continent this week, there is bound to be more big bucks coming her way.

When she launched the cosmetics brand in 2017, it instantly acquired iconic status and created a storm in the beauty industry when she released a range of foundations in 50 shades.

Fenty Beauty was the first ever make-up brand to release foundation shades for each and every skin tone.

At the time, Time magazine named Fenty Beauty as one of “The 25 Best Inventions of 2017”, praising the extent of the range.

She single-handedly revolutionised the cosmetic industry forcing even the most established brands to change their approach to diversity. Light, dark and medium had immediately become a thing of the past.

Her strive for diversity and all-inclusivity wasn’t just aimed at the beauty industry.

When she launched her lingerie label Fenty x Savage in 2018, men and women in all shapes and sizes stood up in applause as one exceptional garment after the other, from bodysuits to thongs, was showcased during New York Fashion Week. The all-inclusive lingerie is yet another one of her brands to reach iconic status, setting a precedent for other lingerie brands.

Throughout her career, all eyes have been on her sense of style and her ability to constantly change her looks.

Her effortless ability to head into a grocery store in luxury designs and heels and the next day turn up to an event wearing baggy pants and her oh so popular basketball cap.

Singer Rihanna arrives at Givenchy’s ready-to-wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection presented in Paris, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Picture: AP/Thibault Camus

When it comes to putting a look together the billionaire businesswoman says, “It’s become more about taking a risk … I always look for the most interesting silhouette or something that’s a little off.”

No matter what Rihanna wears, no matter how ugly it’s perceived to be, it becomes trendy as soon as she wears it.

Nico Amarca of Highsnobiety magazine once wrote “over the course of her career, [Rihanna] has undergone one of the most significant aesthetic metamorphoses the world has ever seen”.

Her impeccable sense of style and her influence on fashion led her to receive the 2014 Fashion Icon Award by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).

Her natural beauty, ever-changing style and all round success have landed her on the cover of Vogue magazine 30 times – making her first appearance on the cover of Vogue Italia in September 2009 and her most recent cover on the May 2022 issue of US Vogue.

On the cover, Rihanna, who recently gave birth to her first child, showed off her then baby bump in a maternity style that, as with everything else she does, has become legendary.

During her pregnancy, she remained true to herself as she continued to push the boundaries of fashion. From her risqué sheer outfit at the Dior show at Paris Fashion Week to wearing bikini bra tips with micro-minis, Rihanna forever changed the way people looked at maternity wear.

Rihanna shows off her belly in a sheer dress. Picture: Instagram/allofrih

On the topic of her maternity style, she told Bustle, “It’s been me personally saying, I’m not going to buy maternity clothes. I’m not gonna buy maternity pants, jeans, dresses, or [do] whatever society told me to do before. I challenged myself to push it further and really just have fun.”