The Caribbean island of Barbados has named singer Rihanna as a “national hero,” or "the right excellent," amid its celebration ceremony Monday in becoming the world’s newest republic.

Barbados had been under the United Kingdom’s control for almost 400 years from when it originally became an English colony, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.

The island has named its first-ever president, Sandra Mason, and recognized Rihanna for her great achievements as a Barbadian.

Rihanna, 33, is known for her achievements in music, her makeup company “Fenty,” acting, fashion, and more. She also has a net worth of about $1.7 billion.

“On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero for Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said according to Sky News.

“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions,” she added.

Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was born in the Barbados parish of Saint Michael in 1998. She has carried the title of “ambassador for culture and youth” for the island since 2018, with her own “Rihanna Day” that is celebrated on Feb. 22.

Barbados had announced it would become a republic by November 2021 following the Black Lives Matter movement. The island, which was the birthplace of British slave society, became independent in 1966.

Prince Charles represented the royal family during the ceremony and noted during the event that slavery in Barbados comes “from the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our histories, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.”

"Emancipation, self-government and independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides,” he added.

The queen issued a message on Monday also calling the Republic ceremony a “momentous day” and that Barbados “held a special place in my heart.”


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