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Rihanna, a national hero in Barbados, and a superstar worldwide - ABC News

When pop star Rihanna was declared a national hero in Barbados, the country that bears her roots, the crowd in her hometown of Bridgetown cheered.

Key points:
  • Robyn Rihanna Fenty, known professionally as Rihanna, has been declared a national hero in Barbados
  • Rihanna was born and raised on the Caribbean Island, but is an international superstar
  • The singer and entrepreneur accepted the honour at a ceremony held to mark the birth of the new republic

Rihanna too was very much grateful for the honour.

"Nothing, nothing compares to being recognised in the soil that you grew in," the 33-year-old said.

Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, the singer was conferred the honour by Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley.

"May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your words, by your actions, and to do credit wherever you shall go," the PM said referencing her hit song Diamonds.

"God bless you, my dear."

The Caribbean Island has made the historic move to become a republic, removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state, and inaugurating President Sandra Mason in that role.

Woman stands on stage in ball gown in Barbados - RihannaWoman stands on stage in ball gown in Barbados - Rihanna
The singer was honoured at the Presidential Ceremony marking the birth of the new Barbados republic.(Reuters: Jonathan Brady )

But the "new Queen" of Barbados is arguably Rihanna, who expressed surprise when crowned a national hero.

"This is a day that I will never, ever forget. It's also a day that I never saw coming."

The singer said the people of Barbados are the true heroes, and she takes pride in calling Barbados home.

"I'm going to be a Bajan till the day I die, and this is still the only place I've ever called home. I love Barbados.

"I love you guys and I pray that the youth continue to push Barbados forward."

Rihanna, the global superstar

Rihanna became a worldwide star when her distinctive voice hit airwaves across the world, after she was signed to rapper Jay-Z's record label.

Pon de Replay was the song that propelled her into international stardom in 2005.

She won a Grammy a couple of years later for the single Umbrella featuring Jay-Z, with her 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad selling several million copies worldwide. She's since won multiple Grammys.

Rihanna is also an entrepreneur. Her Beauty line Fenty has been described by Essence magazine as "a love song to women of colour", in the way it's inclusive of shades that "all women of colour can find themselves in."

Rihanna's face as she walks on the red carpet, representing Fenty: her beauty products that are inclusive of people of colour.Rihanna's face as she walks on the red carpet, representing Fenty: her beauty products that are inclusive of people of colour.
Rihanna said she "wanted everyone to feel included" when she launched her beauty line.(Reuters: Simon Dawson)

Forbes announced her billionaire status earlier this year, saying she's "the wealthiest female musician in the world".

Her album Rated R contained lyrics that touched on revenge, and was released after fellow star Chris Brown was convicted of a 2009 assault against her when the two were dating.

Rihanna has always repped Barbados

Rihanna was born in St Michael parish, Barbados to a Barbadian father and a Guyanese mother in February 1988.

She grew up in Barbados, and won a high school talent show there with a rendition of Hero by Mariah Carey.

A fan of reggae, hip hop and R'n'B, Rihanna was in a girl group, before attracting the attention of an American record producer, who helped shop her demo to Jay-Z.

She's now a bonafide superstar, a billionaire, and a National Hero.

Rihanna in a yellow dress, her hair crowned with jewelsRihanna in a yellow dress, her hair crowned with jewels
Rihanna carried herself like Royalty at the Met Gala. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images/AFP)
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