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Rihanna Explained How She Feels About Her Billionaire Status And Revealed Why She Doesn't Want To Be Put On A Pedestal

"I don't wanna be on this [pedestal]. I don't wanna be this icon. I want to remember who I am."

Posted on September 23, 2021, at 8:10 a.m. ET

Rihanna opened up about how it felt to be called a billionaire recently, explaining that it felt "real weird" to be congratulated over money.

Andrew Kelly / Reuters

In August, Forbes announced that Rihanna had crossed over into billionaire territory through the success of her sprawling empire, with a net worth of around $1.7 billion.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

The report estimated that the bulk of the singer's net worth came from her various pursuits outside of music, with her 50% share in the Fenty Beauty brand apparently worth $1.4 billion alone. 

Her combined net worth made the 33-year-old the "the wealthiest female musician in the world" according to Forbes, 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 shit is crazy."

Despite struggling to wrap her head around it, Rihanna explained that she went on to understand why people were congratulating her because it was a source of inspiration for those who look up to her.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime

"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."

In a separate interview, she was then asked how it felt to be a Black woman who other young girls and women look up to, to which Rihanna told Extra TV: "I think that is what makes it worth it. That's what I want. That's what I work for."

However, when asked about her empire and billionaire status, Rihanna explained that being put on a pedestal was "scary" and added that she wanted to remain grounded.

Stephen Yang / Reuters

"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 told Extra TV. "I wanna feel my feet on the ground because I know it's not gonna be a fall at all if anything, right?"

She added: "I don't wanna be on this [pedestal]. I don't wanna be this icon. I want to remember who I am."

Of course, the other topic of the night was the upcoming Savage X Fenty lingerie show, which is due to air on Amazon Prime on Sept. 24.

Throughout multiple interviews, Rihanna made it clear that inclusivity and diversity in the talent she casts for the show remains her priority, explaining: "You can never be inclusive enough."

Stephen Yang / Reuters

"Our challenge every year is just to expand our ray of inclusivity, right?" she told Entertainment Tonight. "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."

Associated Press / Via

"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.'"

And, on top of that, Rihanna said that she also wanted to shine a spotlight on men in her upcoming lingerie show in the hopes of redefining the image associated with underwear campaigns.

Prime Video / Via

"Men, especially, there's always a certain figure that represents them in this space of lingerie and loungewear and boxers and briefs," she told 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."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.