While you’ve been waiting around for R9 to drop, our sis Rihanna has been collecting coins and saving the world. So it’s not surprise the Grammy Award-winning singer-turned-style mogul will be presented with the prestigious President’s Award at this year’s 51st annual NAACP Image Awards.
The award is given to those who have not only excelled professionally, but also distinguished themselves in public service. It was previously awarded to her Roc Nation label mate Jay-Z, Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Muhammad Ali.
“Rihanna has not only enjoyed a groundbreaking career as an artist and musician, but has also distinguished herself as a stellar public servant,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, who will be presenting her with the award when it airs live on BET.
“From her business achievements through Fenty, to her tremendous record as an activist and philanthropist, Rihanna epitomizes the type of character, grace, and devotion to justice that we seek to highlight in our President’s Award,” Johnson added.
Rihanna has lent her fame and economic resources to a number of worthwhile causes throughout her career. She founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 to promote and fund trailblazing educational initiatives, as well as provide global advocacy efforts to improve quality of life for the next generation. At the annual Diamond Ball, the foundation’s fundraising event, Rihanna auctions off exclusive items and opportunities that help finance their work.
As an ambassador for the nation of Barbados, Rih Rih has shined a light on the country’s beauty and encouraged tourism and economic development there.
Meanwhile in the business world, she created Fenty Beauty, setting a new standard of inclusion for product launches so transformative it has been dubbed “the Fenty effect.” Rihanna’s lingerie brand, SAVAGE x FENTY, challenged conventional ideas about sex appeal by sending every type of body down the runway, including a pregnant Slick Woods. In 2019, she made history by becoming the first Black woman to ever head a luxury fashion house with LVMH, changing the idea of what a high-end designer could look like forever.
The NAACP Image Awards will air on Saturday, February 22 on BET.