World-renowned Barbadian superstar singer, actress, fashion designer and businesswoman, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has been added to the pantheon of National Heroes of Barbados in a shock announcement by Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
At 33 and the world’s richest female musician, the Westbury Road native, recognised at home and around the globe as Riri, would join the world’s greatest cricket allrounder, the Right Excellent Garfield Sobers, 85, as the only living national heroes of Barbados.
In the ceremony to declare Barbados a republic, Mottley declared that it was her government’s judgement that it was appropriate to send a strong signal to the world.
As Rihanna sat on the dais of dignitaries that included the Prince of Wales and heads of state and government from throughout CARICOM, the Prime Minister said: “Just as within one mile of this space from Bridgetown there is a national hero by the name of the Right Excellent Sir Garfield St Aubyn Sobers, born of humble origins, but capable of capturing the imagination of the world by being the greatest of all time in cricket that we too have on the other side of Bridgetown, born less than one mile from here too and from humble origins, catching a ZR from Combermere School.
“But above all else, commanding that imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, with her creativity, her discipline and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth, pursuant to clause B of the schedule. And, having satisfied that Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attainment of the highest excellence that is redounded to the honour of Barbados, my Government has the distinct honour of recommending to the president, who has kindly and graciously accepted that Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of National Hero of Barbados.”
Mottley noted that in addition to Rihanna, several nominations came in for new national heroes that are also be installed by National Heroes Day next year.
The Combermere School sixth former, who was plucked from anonymity by an American producer, has risen to become of the best-selling recording artists of all time with over 250 million records sold and a net worth of US1.7 billion ($3.4 billion). The honour for Rihanna comes three years after she was made Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary by Prime Minister Mottley.