Rihanna, the award-winning singer, has been declared a national hero of Barbados as the small island country celebrates its transition to an independent republic.
The music star was honoured by Mia Mottley, the country’s prime minister, at a ceremony held in Bridgetown, the capital, on Monday.
During the event, Mottley hailed Rihanna’s career strides and “extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth.”
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions,” she said.
“On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we, therefore, present to you the designee for a national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty.”
The prime minister added that the 33-year-old singer and business mogul commanded “the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence with her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth.”
Rihanna had previously served the country in 2008 when she was named as the ambassador for youth, culture and tourism.
The development makes her the 11th Barbadian in history to snag the recognition and the second person alive to receive the honour after Garfield Sobers, the iconic cricketer.
It also further stretches what has been an impressive year for Rihanna.
In August, Forbes had declared the entrepreneur as a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.
Barbados — a country of about 300,000 people — declared its independence from the United Kingdom (UK) in 1966 but Queen Elizabeth II had remained as its head of state since then.
With the transition, Dame Sandra Mason officially takes over from the queen as the country’s first president in history.
Mason was elected by the parliament in October ahead of the country’s transition into a republic.