Women Who Have Built Empires: Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande & More

17 May 2023, 16:12

Celebrate International Women's Day with these pop stars
Celebrate International Women's Day with these pop stars. Picture: Getty

By Savannah Roberts

Here are some seriously impressive pop star enterprises that you might want to read about this International Women's Day...

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Some of your favourite pop stars have tried their hand at many different business ventures, and in doing so, they've built some seriously impressive empires!

Selena Gomez's Career Evolution: From Disney Darling To Global Pop Star

So, to celebrate International Women's Day this year, we've collated a list of some of the music industry's most multi-faceted artists.

These powerful ladies have racked up quite the list of successes across film, television, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, and philanthropy – the list goes on!

Read on to get the lowdown on these powerhouses' lucrative careers, from Rihanna to Lady Gaga to Ariana Grande and more...

Rihanna performs at Super Bowl half-time show

Rihanna launched Savage X Fenty in 2017
Rihanna launched Savage X Fenty in 2017. Picture: Alamy


Rihanna is undeniably one of the most successful stars on the planet, and her limitless ventures from music to fashion (and many in between) have made her a billionaire!

We don’t need to tell you that the 35-year-old boasts an incredible discography that spans nearly 20 years, she’s released over 50 singles (just as a lead artist), and eight albums – so it comes as no surprise that she’s a nine-time Grammy Award winner!

She’s even dabbled in the world of film, with credits from Battleship (2012), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), and Ocean’s 8 (2018) under her belt.

Rihanna has launched multiple lines under the Fenty brand
Rihanna has launched multiple lines under the Fenty brand. Picture: Getty

However, it was in 2017 that Rihanna branched out into the make-up industry – and in a big way! She launched Fenty Beauty which was an instant hit among fans due to its inclusive and expansive shade range.

Rihanna added another string to her bow the following year with the luxuriously bold lingerie line Savage X Fenty, and in 2020 she launched Fenty Skin!

According to Forbes, she can attribute the majority of her net worth - $1.4 billion of it - to her make-up brand, of which she owns a 50% stake – wow!

Selena launched Rare Beauty in 2019
Selena launched Rare Beauty in 2019. Picture: Getty

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez’s career first took off in 2007 with her beloved role on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place – in the 18 years since she has built an incredibly diverse and successful empire across many creative fields.

Much of the star’s early career centred around her work as an actress and musician, she’s been releasing smash-hits from the Disney machine and beyond due to her band Selena Gomez and the Scene as well as her solo material.

Selena’s name has been attached to many successful television projects as an executive producer, most notably she's worked on The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex, 13 Reasons Why, Selena + Chef and Only Murders in the Building.

Selena Gomez documented her life in the limelight with 'My Mind & Me'
Selena Gomez documented her life in the limelight with 'My Mind & Me'. Picture: Alamy

In 2020 she launched her very own make-up line Rare Beauty, the thoughtful business venture is described as “more than a beauty brand”, the company has gone on to spawn several cult products among fans and beyond.

According to TooFab, Rare Beauty generated an eye-water $60 million in 2021, which contributes a huge chunk towards Selena’s alleged $95 million net worth.

In 2021, Selena also cofounded the mental health media platform Wondermind and the following year she released her deeply personal project, My Mind & Me. The documentary followed Gomez over a six-yer period as she battled with fame and struggled with her physical and mental health.

Lady Gaga launched Haus Labs in 2019
Lady Gaga launched Haus Labs in 2019. Picture: Getty

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has been the uplifting soundtrack to our lives since 2008 when she burst onto the scene with 'Just Dance', and the career she’s forged for herself since is just incredible.

But Gaga isn’t just a pop powerhouse, alongside her discography she has tried her hand at many other creative pursuits.

We all knew she had some dramatic acting chops from her ever-elaborate music videos, but she first wowed audiences with her appearance on American Horror Story: Hotel in 2015, which won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries.

Gaga did it yet again with her leading lady role in the huge success that was A Star Is Born in 2018, she won the Oscar for Best Original Song with ‘Shallow’.

She launched her vegan and cruelty-free make-up line Haus Labs in 2019, which proudly states that its mission is “spreading kindness, bravery, and creativity”.

The singer-turned-actor is no stranger to the aforementioned message, it echoes a similar sentiment to her non-profit organisation, The Born This Way Foundation.

The ‘Bad Romance’ songwriter founded the cause with her mother in 2011, its purpose is to support the wellness of young people and to "make the world kinder and braver".

Beyoncé has successful ventures in music, fashion and artist management
Beyoncé has successful ventures in music, fashion and artist management. Picture: Getty


What can't Beyoncé do? The 41-year-old musician has had a career like no other, from her beginning days in Destiny's Child to her generation-defining work as a solo artist – it's clear that Bey is a force to be reckoned with.

The multi-talented woman has released seven solo studio albums, three visual albums, and five live records – but before that, she even had five LPs under her belt from her former girl group.

Beyoncé launched Ivy Park in 2016
Beyoncé launched Ivy Park in 2016. Picture: Ivy Park/Instagram

Of course, the 'Crazy in Love' singer has also made waves when she acted in the likes of Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and The Lion King (2019).

In 2015, Beyoncé dropped 22 Days Nutrition, a diet program that she revealed was instrumental in her concert rehearsal process.

Her foray into fitness didn't stop there, a year later she launched Adidas x Ivy Park, a collection of stylish leisure wear that instantly impacted the world of workout fashion!

And on 16th May 2023 Beyoncé proved there's no end to her talents – by announcing her very own haircare line! She's yet to spill more details on the venture, but we're thinking oils, serums, masks and more!

Ariana Grande launched r.e.m beauty in 2021
Ariana Grande launched r.e.m beauty in 2021. Picture: Ariana Grande/Instagram

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande may have first grabbed our attention with her role on Nickelodeon’s Victorious as the charming Cat Valentine, but she has gone on to rack up a limitless amount of successes since!

She's shown off her insane vocals across six records since 2013 and hasn't stopped dominating the charts since!

Ariana first dabbled in the beauty world with her debut fragrance back in 2015, this has since developed into a perfuming enterprise for the singer-songwriter. Altogether the 'Thank U Next' star has released an impressive 10 perfumes but her entrepreneurship doesn't stop there...

In 2021, Grande founded R.E.M Beauty, she began releasing make-up collections in separate waves the following year. Her beauty business grew with releases such as; Chapter One: Ultraviolet, which included eye and lip products; Chapter Two: Goodnight & Go, which added blushes, lashes and skincare to her brand.

As of 2023, she has released various lines to rave reviews, with the brand massively contributing to her approximate net worth of $220 million.

Her star is set to soar to even greater heights with her highly-anticipated return to musical theatre with her role as Glinda in the movie adaptation of Wicked.

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