Pop musician Rihanna received the honor of National Hero of Barbados on Tuesday, shortly after the nation became a republic and ousted Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
At a ceremony in the singer’s hometown of Bridgetown, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley referred to Rihanna’s 2012 song “Diamonds” to applause. “May you continue to shine like a diamond and honor your nation” said the Prime Minister.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty – who goes by the stage name Rihanna – is the second woman in Barbadian history to receive the honor of national hero after religious leader Sarah Ann Gill, who died in 1866. Rihanna is also only the one of Barbados’ two living national heroes. the other being Sir Garfield Sobers, an 85-year-old cricketer, who received the title in 1998.
As the national hero of Barbados, Rihanna receives the full title of The Right Excellent Robyn Rihanna Fenty for life.
The ceremony took place right after Barbados became a republic and ousted Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Her Majesty has been replaced by Dame Sandra Mason, who was sworn in as the first President of Barbados at midnight on Tuesday, in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles.
Although Rihanna’s musical career took off in the United States, she was born and raised in St. Michael’s Parish in Barbados, where she was discovered by producers in the American music industry.
Prior to being named Barbados ‘National Heroine, Rihanna had served as Barbados’ Ambassador since September 2018.