Rihanna smiled under her face mask as she heard her name called in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, but hesitated before she stood up.
Before her, top Barbadian government officials encouraged her to join them at a crucial moment in her nation’s history.
“You can come my dear,” Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the multi-Grammy winner.
Rihanna had just been declared a national hero by the Barbadian government and bestowed with a title, “the right excellent,” as the island bade farewell to Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and celebrated becoming a republic for the first time in history.
“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,” the prime minister said. “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.”