Monday, February 17, 2014

Rihanna Wins Settlement Against Ex Accountant- What She can Teach Us All About Self Investment

Last week a series of posts were written on how our fave pop icon Rihanna was knocking on bankruptcy's door in 2009. It's hard to believe that such a powerful figure in music today was so close to being broke during a time where she was on every radio and tv station in the world. During that time, Rihanna was seeking financial advice from Peter Gounis and the firm Berdon LLP. She recently sued the firm- reporting they ill advised her, and caused her to lose almost everything.

One of her former accountants Patricia Williams summed up what most artists experience. In a pretty extensive statement given just after she was fired, she basically explained that the bad gal was financing herself for the majority of her career early on. Here is a little of what Patricia had to say about Rih's situation:

..the repackaging of her album Good Girl Gone Bad, which is called Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, that entire project was funded through Rihanna’s money. Take A Bow was bought through her money, the video was created with her money and so is her most recent video and single Disturbia. The label didn’t even want to pay a dime for anything! Close to 750,000 was spent on those two songs alone. And now she expects to see money in her account?

Most people don't understand the way record labels work. You may see established artists fighting to break free of labels (Jay Z & Beyonce) once they get to a certain point, because the idea of a major label backing is not as great as it may seem. Once you're signed a budget is prepared (hopefully) for your projects and depending on how great you sell, you may be able to get a little more. Once you start bringing in money a lot of it is returned back to the label to pay them back before you actually see it. Crazy right?

Patricia also noted that Rihanna's label was very close to dropping her early on for fear she was just a singles artist and unable to sell records. It appears Rihanna may be a lot smarter than they may have thought. The Bajan soon fired her management and regrouped her brand after coming so close to having nothing after doing so much work. Re branding herself and working tirelessly, Rihanna has since rebuilt her empire way above and beyond the reported $11 M she seemed to have to play with in 2009. 

Today Rihanna is reportedly worth more than eight times that and her business reach spans way beyond videos and photo shoots. She has her hand in movies, make up, tv production, perfume, and fashion. If some people still only see her as a singles artist- she's the most successful singles artist in the history of music. She's basically collecting all coins.

According to PageSix, Rihanna has been offered a settlement in her case against her ex accountant. She's winning all around. I'm sure for her it's not about another $10 million.. she's probably signing $10M worth of contracts in months time, but the story itself is one to note. Rihanna came from nothing worked super hard, invested in herself when no one else would, and almost found herself with nothing to show for it. 

Instead of soaking in sorrow, she picked herself up, got a new team, and pressed forward. Now she's on top. This is a lesson for us all- invest in yourself and regroup when you have to. You can't make anyone believe in you, but you can believe in yourself enough to make the necessary changes to win. The good news of her settlement comes just in time for her birthday celebrations this week.


  1. yo this is crazy. i would never knew she was hurtin for money back then.glad she got they asses. dont play wit people money.

  2. I dont see the big deal why everybody posting this story. She was still rich at that time so the broke crap doesnt make since, and she shouldve been on top of her own money.

    1. This is the ignorance that would have left you broke. Once a person is rich every one tand their mother want some of it and they will take it. Artist hire Financial advisors because they are train to do it. As a singer Rihanna have been working non stop she cannot clean her house and cook her own meals and work 24/7 she hires a cook and a maid and she hires a financial adviser. This is not about balancing a check book this is about running a company and in her case several different companies. If the maid does not clean she gets fired if the financial manger gives bad advise so does he but under the law he also gets sued.