From a cavalcade of Marleys to soca artists taking over cruise lines with music and revelry, the Caribbean’s most talented individuals have ventured into entrepreneurship, building their brands and expanding their influence beyond music or acting. Here are some of the most successful Caribbean celebrities who have also become successful entrepreneurs.
Rihanna – Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty
Barbados-born Rihanna is the second best-selling female artist of all time, after Madonna, with over 250 million records sold worldwide. In recent years, she has turned her attention to entrepreneurship and has launched several successful ventures. Her cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty, was established in 2017 and has since become globally recognized, earning over $550 million in its first year alone. Fenty Beauty’s focus on inclusivity and diversity has been a significant factor in its success, as it caters to a wide range of skin tones and types.
Rihanna also launched Savage X Fenty, a lingerie line that celebrates all body types and has been praised for its size-inclusive range. The brand is valued at more than $1 billion.
Sean Paul – Dutty Rock Productions and Dutty Rock Clothing
Jamaican Sean Paul is a Grammy-winning artist with hits including “Get Busy” and “Temperature.” He is also an entrepreneur who launched his record label, Dutty Rock Productions, in 2003. The label has featured several other A-list artists including Beenie Man, Spice, Konshens, and others. He has also launched Dutty Rock Clothing, which features bold and colorful designs inspired by his Jamaican heritage.
Usain Bolt – Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records
Usain Bolt is one of the most decorated track and field athletes in history, with eight Olympic gold medals, dozens of medals from other elite games throughout his career, and major endorsements from brands such as Puma, Hublot and Visa. He has also sprinted his way to success in the business world. In 2011, he partnered with business mogul, Gary Matalon, to establish the restaurant and sports bar Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records in Kingston, Jamaica. The restaurant features Jamaican-inspired cuisine and has become a popular spot for locals and tourists. Bolt has opened additional locations in Jamaica and the UK.
Shaggy – Ranch Entertainment and Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation
Jamaican Orville “Shaggy” Burrell is a Grammy-winning artist known for hits like “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel”. His record label, Ranch Entertainment, has featured popular artists including Rayvon and Kiprich. Shaggy has also used his powers for good, launching the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation, which focuses on helping underprivileged children in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday and Queen Radio
Trinidad-born Nicki Minaj is the best selling female rapper of all time, with more than 100 million records sold worldwide. In addition to her music career, she has launched the fragrance line, Pink Friday, which has been a commercial success. She also hosts the radio show, Queen Radio, which has become a platform to connect with her fans and discuss important issues.
Machel Montano – Machel’s Burger House
In Trinidad and Tobago, the soca artist Machel Montano co-owns “Machel’s Burger House,” a popular restaurant chain with multiple locations throughout the twin island nation serving fast food.
Brain Lara – Brian Lara Rum Eatery
Trinidadian cricket legend Brian Lara has set numerous records in the sport. He has also used his fame to launch several businesses, including two restaurants in Trinidad and Tobago named “Lara’s” and “The Hut.” Lara has invested in real estate, including luxury apartments in Mumbai, India. He has also been involved in several regional charitable initiatives, including building schools and hospitals.
These are just a few successful Caribbean-born celebrities who have become successful entrepreneurs, leveraging their talent, creativity, and business acumen to build acclaimed brands and expand their influence beyond the performing arts and sports. Their inspiring journeys testify to the wealth of opportunities that can arise from combining passion with an entrepreneurial spirit.