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Several successful celebrities left their education to pursue their musical or acting dreams. While education is important, stars such as Rihanna continue to do just fine despite having dropped out of school. From taking the entertainment industry by storm to growing her beauty empire, Rihanna recently joined the billionaire club. The confident fashionista and talented singer’s fame and fortune prove that everyone’s road to success does not always include a degree.

Why did Rihanna drop out of school?

Rihanna poses on the red carpet
Rihanna | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados, Rihanna’s mark on the entertainment industry is undeniable. Growing up in a strained home life due to her father’s addictions which led to a strained marriage, Rihanna turned to music as an outlet.

In 2003, Rihanna followed her passion for music by forming a musical trio with two classmates. Before the girls could establish a name and style, the group was discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers while vacationing in Barbados. He was blown away by Rihanna’s cover of Mariah Carey’s “Hero” and her ability to instantly grab the attention of the entire room.

After Rogers met with Rihanna’s mother and the teenager, Rihanna had the opportunity to leave her hometown to record demos in the United States with Def Jam Recordings. Once she auditioned for Jay-Z — a fellow celeb school dropout — he quickly saw her potential for making it big, and the rest is history. Now, the pop star is widely adored, and everyone knows her name. 

In an Insider article, Rihanna revealed that she doesn’t regret leaving Barbados. She said, “I didn’t look back. I wanted to do what I had to do, even if it meant moving to America.” Not finishing high school to pursue her music was a good path for the young star, as she was well on her way to superstardom within a year of moving to the United States. 

She’s had huge music success

In 2005, Rihanna made her music industry debut with the hit single “Pon de Replay.” The upbeat song saw worldwide success — and that was only the beginning for the young solo artist. The following year, she released her certified Platinum album A Girl like Me featuring lead single “SOS.” She also starred in the successful film Bring It on: All or Nothing.

Throughout the late 2000s, Rihanna continued topping charts with hits, such as Grammy Award–winning “Umbrella” and “Don’t Stop the Music.” By 2010, the pop star had made a name for releasing crowd-pleasing records and gained a large following. She took home another Grammy Award for “Only Girl (in the World)” at the 53rd Grammy Awards. While she continued releasing albums, Rihanna also collaborated with other well-known musicians in the mid-2010s. 

Rihanna went on to make her mark on the beauty industry 


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A majority of Rihanna’s wealth is from her singing career, but her other business endeavors have also played a part in helping her reach her $1.7 billion net worth. One of her most profitable was the launch of Fenty Beauty cosmetics, which is a joint venture with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. Launching as a cosmetic company offering broad inclusivity of skin tones and gender in 2017, Fenty Beauty saw instant success and topped other established high-profile cosmetics, such as Kylie Cosmetics. While Rihanna was surprised by the ripple she caused in the beauty industry because of her groundbreaking foundation, many chalk it up to her go-getter attitude and commitment to humanitarian efforts.

Although Rihanna’s billionaire status did not happen overnight, it was almost inevitable with her singing talent, passion for beauty, and following three daily habits — despite the fact that she dropped out of school.