Rihanna’s 30 today and is celebrating her birthday as one of music’s biggest moguls.
Aside from winning nine Grammy Awards and four platinum albums, she has her own makeup line, her own clothing line, and her own fragrance. Her charity efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims, those living with HIV/AIDS, and for programs in her home country of Barbados even earned her the “Humanitarian of the Year” award from Harvard University.
Her path to success wasn’t an easy one. Over the years she’s detailed how she grew up shy from a small town in Barbados, overcame obstacles as a black woman, and found her own identity in the music industry. Here are her 10 best quotes about success and money.
On how she gained her confidence
“I was very shy at one point. I knew what I was about and what I stood for, but I was not very vocal. In the Barbadian culture there’s this thing we say: ‘Speak when you’re spoken to.’ It’s polite not to blabber. It took me a couple of years to come out of my shell,” Rihanna told InStyle.
On who keeps her grounded
“For me, it’s my mama,” Rihanna responded when asked who keeps it real with her after all her success.
On how she copes with career setbacks
“I pray a lot. A lot. And I try to just look at every situation like there’s some reason behind it,” Rihanna told The Cut. “Even if I can’t feel it in that moment, I just thank God anyway, because I know that there’s something better coming, and he’s doing it for my good.”
On dealing with racism
‘‘You know, when I started to experience the difference — or even have my race be highlighted — it was mostly when I would do business deals,” Rihanna told The New York Times. ‘‘And, you know, that never ends, by the way. It’s still a thing. And it’s the thing that makes me want to prove people wrong. It almost excites me; I know what they’re expecting and I can’t wait to show them that I’m here to exceed those expectations.’’
On the idea behind her hit, “Bitch Better Have My Money”
“That song can be taken in so many ways,” Rihanna told Vogue. “I mean, money’s pretty much the obvious thing. The nonobvious thing is somebody who’s just jocking you. You’re minding your own business. And everything that comes out of them is targeted toward you. You feel like at the end of the day, you might as well get paid for this shit.”
On how streaming music helps her bottom line
“Streaming counts now. They’re treating artists the way we deserve to be treated. So it’s not blindly—it’s not invisible sales or invisible streams or invisible listens or downloads,” Rihanna told Vogue. “Before streaming, it was robbing artists. Robbing us of our sales. It’s free music. So now the free music counts. It is definitely going to make a big difference in the music industry.”
On her sleeping patterns
“My body is weird,” Rihanna told Rolling Stone. “I wake up when the sun comes up, and it’s hard for me to go to sleep. My thoughts just take over.”
On her 14-foot-high wine shelves all carrying $2 Trader Joe’s Cabernet
When Rihanna caught Rolling Stone journalist Josh Eells eyeing her impressive collection of Charles Shaw Cabernet, she grinned, shrugged, and said, “They came with the house.”
On what the crazy success of her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, means for her
“We have this amazing emotional connection with customers who’ve never been able to find their shade of foundation before—women crying at the [makeup] counter—it’s crazy to even think about,” Rihanna said in an interview with Vogue. “The first woman I saw put makeup on her face was a black woman—my mom—and when I think of my customers, I want everyone to feel like they can find their color, that they are represented as part of this new generation.”
On how she finally found fun making music
“In the beginning…I didn’t feel like an artist, I felt like a tool. I just felt, hey, here I am, this money-making vehicle for this big record label [and] I’m not even having fun, because I’m not able to be who I am… Then, finally, I said, ‘You know what, if I want to do this, I’m going to do it my way’ and I just rebelled, cut my hair, dyed it black, changed my image, changed my sound,” Rihanna told The Guardian back in 2009.