Barbados appoints Ambassador Rihanna
NEW YORK: Rihanna is now Ambassador Rihanna, after her home country tasked her with promoting investment and tourism.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said that Rihanna — real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty — has been conferred the title of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
Mottley said: “Rihanna has a deep love for this country and this is reflected in her philanthropy, especially in the areas of health and education. She also shows her patriotism in the way she gives back to this country and continues to treasure the island as her home.”
While the singer will not be formally accredited to another country, Mottley said that Rihanna would be in charge of bringing investment as well as encouraging education and tourism.
“I couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country. Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I’m ready and excited to take on the responsibility,” Rihanna said in a statement dated Thursday.
“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Mottley and her team to reimagine Barbados.”
Rihanna, 30, grew up in a troubled home in Barbados and was propelled to fame after visiting US producer Evan Rogers recognized her talents.
The singer, who since achieving stardom has lived primarily in Los Angeles and New York, has scored 14 number-one singles on the US Billboard chart, more than any artist except The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey.
Already a cultural ambassador for Barbados, Rihanna’s expanded role reflects her “global influence across a much broader range of areas”.
The singer, who has amassed an estimated net worth of $210m, has a number of business ventures alongside her musical career, notably in the worlds of fashion and cosmetics.
She has also carried out international charitable work through her Clara Lionel Foundation, which is named after her grandparents.
The pop star has also been a vocal commentator on political and social issues. In 2017, she was a prominent critic of President Donald Trump’s response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico.
The same year she called for an end to gun violence after a cousin was shot dead in Barbados.
In March, she almost single-handedly wiped $1bn off Snapchat’s value after criticising the app for an advert that appeared to make light of domestic violence.