Barbados declares Rihanna a National Hero as it becomes world’s newest republic

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Rihanna has been declared a National Hero by her home country of Barbados.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the singer received the island nation’s high honor Monday night at the Pride of Nationhood ceremony in Bridgetown.

“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the singer, referencing her 2012 hit “Diamonds.”

Rihanna becomes just the second woman to receive the National Hero honor, and the 11th person overall. She can now use the title of Right Honorable in front of her name.

At the same ceremony Monday, Barbados formally cut ties with the U.K. and removed Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. In doing so, Barbados becomes the world’s newest republic.

Rihanna reacted to the honor in a public address on Tuesday morning, saying, “I have traveled the world and received several awards and recognition, but nothing compares to being recognized in the soil that you grew in. So I thank you so much for this.”

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