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Rihanna Declared National Hero by Barbados

Nine-time Grammy winner and Fenty Beauty billionaire Rihanna was honored by her home country of Barbados on Monday, the same day the island nation shed its colonial allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II and declared itself a republic.

“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 announced at a ceremony celebrating Barbados' presidential inauguration and marking its first day as a republic. “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. God bless you, my dear.”

The 33-year-old, who has had the honorary title of Ambassador for Culture and Youth in Barbados since 2018 and was first named one of the Caribbean island country's cultural ambassadors in 2008 — doing promotional work for its tourism ministry — said it was a day she would never forget and never saw coming.

"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," she said.

Rihanna, who was born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown where the ceremony took place, before moving to the United States after she was discovered by music producer Evan Rogers, is the 11th person to receive the honor. It had been 20 years since it was last conferred.

The announcement was a high-point of the festivities surrounding Barbados formally cutting ties with the British monarchy after nearly 400 years.

Watch Rihanna's entire speech below:

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