The new queen bee: Rihanna is crowned world's wealthiest female musician

The family struggled with poverty during her childhood in Barbados; her home life was marred by violent arguments and her father’s crippling drug and alcohol addictions. At school though, her teachers recorded that she was sure of herself, intelligent and “very observant of her environment”.By the time she was 10, Rihanna had become a carer to her two younger brothers while her mother worked to support them. If humble, troubled beginnings go some way to explain the drive of the most successful stars, then Rihanna makes a bold claim to be among the biggest. Eligible for inclusion in the newspaper’s annual list since she moved to London over a year ago, Rihanna, who enters the musicians’ category at No 3 after Andrew Lloyd Webber and Paul McCartney, is now richer than Mick Jagger and Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Adele. By 24, she had won the record as the biggest-selling digital artist of all time, and at 31, Rihanna became the first black woman to run a luxury fashion house. “That’s why I really relate and empathise with Latino people who are discriminated against inAmerica.” In 2007, at 19 and with three albums already under her belt, Rihanna told the Observer: “They locked me into the office – til 3am. But the release of 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad marked a creative turning point and saw Rihanna drop her label-mandated image which she deemed “girlie and boring” to experiment with “different, unexpected and edgy” looks. A year after going public about her relationship with RnB singer Chris Brown, photos of her battered face – swollen and bruised – were leaked to the press. “Even if Chris never hit me again, who’s to say that [their abusers] won’t kill thesegirls?” In 2013, back again with Brown, she told Rolling Stone, she didn’t care what people thought : “I decided it was important for me to be happy … I wasn’t going to let anyone’sopinionget in the way of that.” Months later they broke up again. Rihanna is notorious for playing against pop machine’s rules and has cultivated a brand – the “Bad Gal Riri” of her Instagram handle – that is unapologetically sexual. She has her critics: Annie Lennox accused her of peddling “pornographic” music videos, and Mail on Sunday columnist Liz Jones called her “toxic” and “poisonous”.