From Rihanna to Kim Kardashian – These are the 5 richest female celebrity self-made billionaires of 2023

Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna are some of the richest female celebrities who are self-made billionaires. Photos: Getty Images, AP, @fentybeauty/Instagram

Forbes just released its 2023 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women on June 1.

While Taylor Swift has made headlines for her jaw-dropping net worth at US$740 million, landing her the 34th position on the list, she still has a long way to go to catch up with the billionaire club.

Billionaire Barbadian singer-actress Rihanna arrives for the 2023 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, US, on May 1. Photo: AFP

Questions over how Forbes defines “self-made” regularly arise when the publication releases its rich lists. It reports that it uses a combination of factors, including valuing individual assets like stakes in public companies using stock prices. It consults experts to help establish the value of private companies. Forbes also claims that to be eligible, women have to have “substantially made their own fortunes” in the US and/or be US citizens or permanent residents.

Here are five female stars who made the list, hailing from the fashion industry to tech, music, media and beauty.

Fashion designer Tory Burch smiles at the end of her runway show during New York Fashion Week on February 13. Photo: AFP

5. Tory Burch – US$1 billion
In 2022, the lifestyle brand named after its founder, Tory Burch, sold around US$1.75 billion in clothes, fragrances and shoes. With 370 stores around the world, Burch clearly has an aggressive expansion plan. She started the brand in 2004 in New York City and, according to her website, has a strong focus on empowering women. The Tory Burch Foundation gives access to capital and education to enable women to achieve their dreams, with Burch being the executive chairman and CEO of the brand.

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Kim Kardashian attends the 2022 Baby2Baby Gala presented by Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, in November 2022. Photo: TNS

4. Kim Kardashian – US$1.2 billion
She may be down US$600 million compared to last year, but Kim Kardashian’s net worth still sits at an impressive US$1.2 billion. Forbes reports the value of Kardashian’s shapewear firm Skims saw a decline because of “lower value for publicly traded figures”. She has a 35 per cent stake in Skims, the biggest source of her revenue. The reality star-turned-entrepreneur also has a private equity firm, SKKY Partners and she launched a skin care line SKKN by Kim, boosting her revenue streams.

Rihanna is not only a famous performer – she also has a highly successful beauty line, Fenty Beauty. Photo: @fentyxriri/Instagram

3. Rihanna – US$1.4 billion
Rihanna made history after performing one of the most-watched Super Bowl half-time shows ever, grabbing more than 121 million viewers. At 35 years old, she is the youngest self-made billionaire, with a net worth estimated at around US$1.4 billion.

Fenty Beauty, the make-up line she launched in partnership with LVMH back in 2017, is by far her most valuable asset, with LVMH that reporting Fenty doubled its revenue in 2022.

In March, the Barbadian singer-actress-entrepreneur announced a collaboration between her beauty line and Puma called Fenty x Puma, in a move that Vogue has said makes sense because of the musician’s long-standing relationship with the brand.

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Sheryl Sandberg, then-COO of Facebook, speaks onstage at Vanity Fair’s sixth annual New Establishment Summit at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California, in October 2019. Photo: TNS

2. Sheryl Sandberg – US$1.7 billion
In 2022, Sandberg stepped down as COO at Facebook, now Meta, to focus on philanthropic work. She still sits on the board of the social media giant and has become known for her outspokenness around women in the workplace. Her bestsellers, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead and Lean in for Graduates have become cult sensations. Before joining Facebook, she was an economist at the World Bank.

Oprah Winfrey is the richest female self-made billionaire in 2023. Photo: @oprahwinfrey6195/Instagram

1. Oprah Winfrey – US$2.5 billion
Forbes ranked media mogul Oprah Winfrey as the richest female self-made billionaire, with her net worth estimated at US$2.5 billion. She was widely reported as adding 352 hectares of land in Maui earlier this year to her already-extensive property portfolio on the Hawaiian island. Her other properties are in California and Wyoming.

According to Forbes, Winfrey reinvested profits from her Oprah Winfrey Show into Harpo Productions and other business interests. America’s favourite talk show host is also producing a musical film The Color Purple with Steven Spielberg, set to premiere in North America on December 25, per Variety.

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.

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