Rihanna honored as national hero in Barbados as island becomes republic

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, designer, beauty mogul and actress Rihanna has another title to add to her résumé: national hero of Barbados.

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According to The New York Times and Reuters, the honor came early Tuesday as Barbados officially became a republic and removed Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. In an overnight ceremony in Bridgetown, Sandra Mason, 72, was sworn in as president as hundreds looked on, including the pop star and Britain’s Prince Charles.

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley also declared Rihanna a national hero at the ceremony, saying the 33-year-old demonstrated an “extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth,” the Times reported.

But Rihanna, who was born in Saint Michael, wasn’t the only one honored. Charles was awarded Barbados’ Order of Freedom, as well.

“Tonight, you write the next chapter of your nation’s story,” said Charles, the heir to the British throne. “You are the guardians of your heritage.”