When Harry Styles of Dua Lipa went to primary school, the Straight ahead was there when Rihanna first climbed the pop music ladder. That included a slightly less than glowing review of an opening slot for Akon in 2007 at Rogers Arena.
The headline for that piece was “Akon Shows Rihanna How It’s Done”, and in the Coles Notes version, the headliner was just as polished and professional as the opener was hesitant and unsure of himself.
Despite that, though, it was already clear that Rihanna was busy plotting her future plans for world domination. The review ended as follows: “While Akon led about 7,000 frenzied dancing Vancouverites through the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony jam, ‘I Tried,’ those at the mixing console may have noticed Rihanna standing there in a cloak and all in It was the sight of a humble grasshopper giving a certified master her undivided attention.’
And before you get all confused about how to use the word “humble,” make sure you read here after you’ve boned your Kung Fu trivia.
A flash of a decade and a half forward, and Rihanna has not only long since left her grasshopper status behind, but has now taken her place alongside all-time pop legends like Cher and Madonna. And, arguably, surpassed them when it comes to business acumen.
Last month, Forbes released a list of America’s richest self-made women with roof magnate Diane Hendricks as number one. At No. 21 came Barbadian-born, California-based Rihanna, who has made her future not only through music, but also through acting and a cosmetics and clothing empire known as Fenty.
According to CNBC, the 34-year-old multi-talented threat is the youngest person on the list and the only billionaire under 40.
Need another reason to love Rihanna’s transformation from grasshopper to full-fledged master of everything she explores?
Ten years ago, long before the world hit the climate change panic button, Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation to promote education and climate resilience initiatives. Last January, the CLF joined forces with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey to donate $15 million to 18 climate justice groups around the world.
In an interview in 2019 with The New York Times† T Magazine“Rihanna suggested it was never about the money for her.
“My money is not for me; it’s always the thought that I can help someone else,” she noted. “The world can really make you believe that the wrong things are a priority, and it really makes you miss the core of life, what it means to live.”
For the curious, Forbes estimates Rihanna’s worth at $1.4 billion. Look and listen grasshoppers.