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Rihanna is America's richest female musician—here's why money 'is not going to stop me from working'

Rihanna
Christopher Polk | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Pop star Rihanna is now America's richest female musician, with a net worth of $600 million. And she's one of the wealthiest self-made women under age 40, according to Forbes' 2019 list.

Though the 31-year-old has made millions, she doesn't plan on slowing down. "I never thought I'd make this much money, so a number is not going to stop me from working," she tells T: The New York Times Style Magazine. "I'm working out of what I love to do, what I'm passionate about."

Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was first discovered as a teen when American record producer Evan Rogers was visiting her home country of Barbados. After hearing her sing, Rogers helped her record a demo, which eventually made its way to Jay-Z.

She flew to New York to audition in front of Jay-Z. "She was fierce, like Kobe Bryant," he recalls in an interview with Rolling Stone. "I knew she was a star."

Caroline McCredie | Getty

Today, she's earned nine Grammy awards and established herself as a music icon. The bulk of Rihanna's wealth, though, isn't from singing — it comes from her partnership with LVMH. Fenty Beauty, the makeup line that she co-owns with the luxury goods conglomerate, generated a reported $72 million in sales in just its first full month in 2017 and about $570 million in sales by the end of 2018.

This spring, Rihanna launched a new luxury fashion label with LVMH, also called Fenty. She is the first woman of color to have a label under LVMH and the first woman to start an original brand for the fashion group.

Money may not be driving her career, but profit is still "happening along the way," Rihanna tells T Magazine. And it has opened up countless opportunities: "The money means that I can take care of my family. The money means that I can facilitate the businesses that I want to."

It also means that "I can create jobs for other people. My money is not for me; it's always the thought that I can help someone else," says Rihanna. She founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 to help improve the quality of education and health care for children in impoverished communities.

"The world can really make you believe that the wrong things are priority, and it makes you really miss the core of life, what it means to be alive," she says. "It could literally be walking outside in the sun. That makes me happy."

Don't miss: 11 of America's richest self-made women are under age 40, according to Forbes

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