Rihanna honoured as National Hero of Barbados as country celebrates becoming a republic

"May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation," prime minister Mia Mottley told the singer when bestowing the honour

Rihanna has been honoured as part of the celebrations surrounding Barbados becoming a republic, with president-elect Sandra Mason set to become head of state after the country announced last year it would abolish its ties to the monarchy.

Rihanna attended the declaration of the republic and inauguration ceremony for Mason in her hometown of Bridgetown on November 30. As part of the ceremony, prime minister Mia Mottley bestowed the honour of National Hero of Barbados to the singer and entrepreneur – real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your words, by your actions, and to give credit wherever you shall do it,” prime minister Mottley said while conferring the honour to Rihanna, who will now be known by the honorific The Right Excellent.

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Rihanna was born in Barbados in 1988 and raised in Bridgetown, where she lived until being discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers as a teenager and subsequently moving to the United States to begin her career.

In 2008, the singer was given a Barbadian ambassadorial role for culture. A decade later in 2018, Rihanna was named the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for her home country, a role that involves promoting education, tourism and investment.

Last year, when the Barbados government announced plans to “fully leave” their “colonial past behind” in 2021 by becoming a republic, fans jokingly called for Rihanna to replace Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

Back in September, Rihanna told fans to expect a different sound from the singer when she finally releases her long-awaited ninth album, the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Anti’.

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“You’re not gonna expect what you hear, just put that in your mind. Whatever you know of Rihanna’s not gonna be what you hear,” the singer told Associated Press while promoting her latest Savage X Fenty show.

“I’m really experimenting, and music is like fashion, you should be able to play, I should be able to wear whatever I want and I treat music the same way. So, I’m having fun, and it’s going to be completely different,” she explained.

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