Rihanna Is Named a National Hero of Barbados

ihanna has long been an inspiration to the masses, but this week the pop star, fashion designer, and general arbiter of cool finally got the recognition she deserves for being a national hero.

During Barbados’s presidential inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, Rihanna was named a National Hero by the country’s Prime Minister Mia Mottley. The event, held in the singer’s hometown of Bridgetown, was thrown to commemorate Barbados formally cutting ties with the United Kingdom and the British monarchy as the country becomes recognized as a republic within the Commonwealth. The country formally removed Queen Elizabeth as its head of state this week almost 400 years after the first English ship arrived on the Caribbean island. The current governor-general, Dame Sandra Mason, was sworn in as president.

When bestowing this honor on the Grammy winner, Prime Minister Mottley told the crowd, “On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty. May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions and to do credit wherever you shall go,” in reference to her 2012 hit song “Diamonds.” Rihanna was born in Barbados in 1988 as Robyn Rihanna Fenty. As a National Hero, she can now add “The Right Honourable” before her name. This honor has only been given to 11 other Barbadians, and Rihanna is the second woman to receive it, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Fenty founder has long been a proud representative of her country. In 2008, she became one of the country’s cultural ambassadors, doing promotional work on behalf of the Barbados tourism ministry. In 2017, the island celebrated its Independence Day by officially changing the name of Westbury New Road to Rihanna Drive in her honor. And in 2018, Rihanna was appointed as an official ambassador of Barbados.