Rihanna Is a National Hero of Barbados, Now Officially

Rihanna is raking in the titles. After previously being appointed as ambassador, the singer and entrepreneur has been declared a National Hero by her homeland, Barbados. Rihanna received the honor during the Pride of Nationhood ceremony on Nov. 29 celebrating the island’s establishment as its own republic after formally cutting ties with the British monarchy.

“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,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said. “May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your words, by your actions, and to do credit wherever you shall go.”

Rihanna, who was born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, is the 11th person to be named a National Hero and only the second woman. (Sarah Ann Gill, a 19th century social and religious leader, was the first woman when she was posthumously honored in 1998.) The distinction now means Rihanna can tack on Right Excellent to the front of her name, which just feels right.

“This is a day that I will never, ever forget. It’s also a day that I never saw coming,” Rihanna said in a speech the following morning. “I’m so proud to be a Bajan. I’m gonna be a Bajan till the day I die. This is still the only place I’ve ever called home.” Addressing Prime Minister Mottley directly, Rihanna added, “Thank you so much for honoring me in this way. I have traveled the world and received several awards and recognitions, but nothing — nothing — compares to being recognized in the soil that you grew in.”

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