Barbados declared hit singer Rihanna a national hero on Tuesday (November 30) during its republican celebrations in her hometown of Bridgetown.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that the 33-year-old would be conferred with the honour of National Hero of Barbados to cheers. Rihanna was called up before the crowds to be congratulated by Mottley.
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions,” Mottley told Rihanna, a reference to her 2012 chart-topping single “Diamonds”.
Barbados ditched Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state, forging a new republic on Tuesday with its first-ever president and severing its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island.
At the strike of midnight, the new republic was born to the cheers of hundreds of people lining Chamberlain Bridge in the capital, Bridgetown. A 21 gun salute fired as the national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square.
(Production: Hannah Ellison)