Singer Rihanna has been declared a national hero of Barbados, as the country celebrates its transition to an independent republic.

The singer has been an ambassador for Barbados since 2018. The island nation has officially removed the Queen as head of state.

“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 country’s prime minister, Mia Mottley said

She added that Rihanna must continue to shine like a diamond.

Rihanna, 33, was born in Saint Michael and raised in the capital, Bridgetown. She was propelled to fame after the American producer Evan Rogers recognised her talents.

“Nothing compares to being recognised in the soil that you grew in,” Rihanna said during her acceptance speech.

“Barbadians are a proud people. We are probably the proudest people I know. No matter where I go, in the world I take that pride with me.

“I’m so proud to be a Bajan. I’m gonna be a Bajan till the day I die. This is still the only place I’ve ever called home.”