RIHANNA RESPONDS TO THE PANDEMIC
Rihanna, the internationally celebrated music and fashion phenom, has come out swinging in her response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through her Clara Lionel Foundation, the 32-year-old Barbados native has already contributed at least $8 million to various organizations addressing the global crisis. Additionally, she has donated a significant stock of protective medical gear to New York state, and even shipped a ventilator to her father in Barbados who contracted the coronavirus and has since recovered.
Clara Lionel Foundation efforts
The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), named after Rihanna’s grandparents, funds humanitarian efforts around the world. Established in 2012, its recent initiatives support education programs in Malawi, Barbados and Senegal, and emergency response programs in the Caribbean. After last year’s Hurricane Dorian, the foundation issued significant grants to organizations providing food, medical aid and relief efforts in the Bahamas. Fast Company recently ranked CLF as one of the top ten most innovative nonprofits in the world.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, CLF has made substantial emergency donations. On March 23, it announced an allocation of $5 million to notable frontline nonprofits including Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, and the International Rescue Committee.
Then, on March 31, CLF and Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation each donated $1 million “to support undocumented workers, the children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles.”
Ten days later, CLF teamed up with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to contribute $4.2 million to the Mayors’ Fund for Los Angeles. The money will provide 10 weeks of shelter, meals and counseling for victims of domestic abuse and their children. Reports of domestic violence around the world have risen dramatically as lockdowns have been enforced in many countries. It is well known that Rihanna is herself a domestic abuse survivor.
Not only has Rihanna sold some 250 million records worldwide, she has founded ultra-successful businesses including cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty and fashion house Fenty. In 2018, its first full year of operation, Fenty Beauty rang up $570 million in sales. Last year, Forbes estimated its value at $3 billion. Consequently, Rihanna’s net worth surged to approximately $600 million, making her the wealthiest female musician in the world.