Rihanna wears striking orange gown at ceremony to mark Barbados becoming world’s newest republic

Musician was made national hero in her hometown by inaugural president Dame Sandra Mason

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 30 November 2021 13:13
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Rihanna declared national hero as Barbados cuts ties with Queen

On Monday, Barbados welcomed its new status as a republic, putting an end to the Queen’s 55-year-long role as its head of state.

Rihanna, who was born in Saint Michael, Barbados, was invited to witness the historic moment in a ceremony led by the Prince of Wales in Bridgetown, the island’s capital.

For the occasion, the singer chose a bright orange halterneck gown by Bottega Veneta, which she paired with a simple pair of brown strappy stilettos and her black face mask.

Made from lurex, the backless gown features a scarf-style neck with a tasseled tip.

A longer version of the same gown is available to purchase online for £1,850.

At the ceremony, shortly after the nation officially became a republic, Rihanna was honoured with the National Hero award.

Prime minister Mia Mottley, who gave Rihanna the accolade, said: “May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions,” in reference to the singer’s chart-topping single from 2012, “Diamonds”.

Rihanna was born in 1988 and raised in Bridgetown.

As a teenager, she was discovered by American producer Evan Rogers, which prompted her to move to the US to launch her career in music.

In 2008, Rihanna was given a Barbadian ambassadorial role for culture.

A decade later, in 2018, she was named the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Barbados, which is a role that involces promoting tourism and education on the island.

Rihanna hasn’t released an album since 2016, and told fans in September that a new sound is coming.

“You’re not gonna expect what you hear, just put that in your mind. Whatever you know of Rihanna’s not gonna be what you hear,” she told Associated Press in September.

“I’m really experimenting, and music is like fashion, you should be able to play, I should be able to wear whatever I want and I treat music the same way. So, I’m having fun, and it’s going to be completely different.”

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