Barbadian-born superstar Rihanna, who officially crossed over into billionaire territory last month, said it felt “real weird” to be congratulated over having more money.
In August, Forbes estimated that the majority of the Diamonds singer’s $1.7 billion net worth came from her various ventures outside of music, with her 50% share in the Fenty Beauty brand, reportedly worth $1.4 billion alone. Forbes’ report made the 33-year-old the “the wealthiest female musician in the world,” as well as the second wealthiest female entertainer behind Oprah Winfrey.
“You know, it was real weird getting congratulations texts from people for money?” Rihanna said on the red carpet of her latest Savage X Fenty show. “I never got congratulated for money before. That sh-t is crazy.”
According to Rihanna, even though she was taken aback by the oddness of it, she eventually realized the congratulations were mostly from people who were inspired.
“It made sense when I realized that it was inspiring to people that they felt like this is something that they could achieve knowing where I’ve come from,” she told Access. “Knowing my humble beginnings, they see the possibility, and it gives them hope. That made me feel really happy,” she continued.
In another interview with ExtraTV, Rihanna said it was a rewarding feeling to know that she was someone other young girls and women looked up to. “I think that is what makes it worth it. That’s what I want. That’s what I work for.”
The Umbrella songstress isn’t quite thrilled about the fame that comes with her billionaire status however, adding it feels “scary” to be put on a pedestal and would rather remain grounded.
“It’s scary. I do think about it all the time. I make it a point to think about it, because I get scared when the pedestal comes into play and people put you up there and keep wanting to put you up there,” she said. “I wanna feel my feet on the ground because I know it’s not gonna be a fall at all if anything, right?” she said. “I don’t wanna be on this [pedestal]. I don’t wanna be this icon. I want to remember who I am.”
The big topic of the night of course was the upcoming Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 that promises to showcase the best of her brand’s lingerie alongside the world’s leading models like Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Irina Shayk with appearances to include Nas, Daddy Yankee, Ricky Martin, Erykah Badu, Bia, Normani to name just a few.
As Executive Producer and Creative Director, this will be the third consecutive annual show for Rihanna, following her 2020 and 2019 masterpieces. It’s set to premiere on Amazon Prime on Sept. 24.
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner, Rihanna wearing custom-made Bottega Veneta, broke down the creative process behind the show, revealing the main source of inspiration for her was really the venue. She made it very clear that inclusivity and diversity in the talent she casts for the show remains her top priority, explaining: “You can never be inclusive enough.”
“Our challenge every year is just to expand our ray of inclusivity, right?” she said. “You can’t just get there and say, ‘We handled everyone.’ There’s always someone that you didn’t represent, and every year we want to include more representation.”
“I naturally root for the underdog, that’s just me,” Rihanna went on. “I’ve always been that way and maybe that’s the thing that drives my passion for inclusivity.”
“Like, no one is gonna think about her being beautiful, but to me, that needs to be represented as beautiful because we’ve only told them one story,” she continued. “Their story matters, and that story makes someone at home say, ‘Wait, they look just like me. I’m just like them.’”
Taking the aim of inclusivity and diversity even further, Rihanna said that she also wanted to highlight men in her upcoming lingerie show with hopes of redefining the image associated with underwear campaigns.
“Men, especially, there’s always a certain figure that represents them in this space of lingerie and loungewear and boxers and briefs,” she said in another interview with the Associated Press.
“It’s always a six-pack, or eight-pack. We’re gonna have men of all different sizes, all different races. We’re gonna have men feel included as well, because I think men have been left behind in the inclusion curve that’s been happening recently.”