Most of us look at Rihanna and we see her as a successful musician who has shaped the lives of many. Although this rings true, she’s also a businesswoman and a charitable individual. Rihanna’s devotion to Barbados has illustrated her generosity and love for her passport country.
After spending the majority of her first 18 years in Barbados, Rihanna left with a strong connection to this island, such a connection that after coming to the United States and gaining immense popularity, she still stayed true to her roots and devoted a specific organization to help give back to her passport country.
The rise of Rihanna’s career
Growing up culturally fluid and being forced to adapt to a new country at 16 can prove to be overwhelming. However, with Rihanna’s music career skyrocketing two years after the move, a sense of admiration for her passport country arose. A desire to give back to Barbados quickly took ahold of her moral compass.
While Rihanna’s career grew, she needed to fully integrate herself into her music and newfound lifestyle. Consequently, seven years passed until she could start giving back. After this block, she took the time and materials necessary to create her most well-known charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation.
Charity and leadership for Barbados
According to the Clara Lionel Foundation website, this organization “supports and funds education initiatives and emergency response to natural disasters” all around the world, including Barbados. This organization, created in 2013, gave Rihanna a chance to positively impact her country, and many others struggling globally.
Not only did Rihanna build this incredible foundation, but she also took up leadership roles in Barbados. An article in “Billboard” by Hollywood writer Marina Pedrosa states that “the superstar singer was given the title of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, with specific responsibility for promoting education, tourism and investment for the island.”
“I couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country“
Rihanna on her new role in Barbados from BBC News.
Insight from an inspired musician
Katelyn Caron, a student from California Polytechnic State University, has learned what it means to chase musical dreams while still having the desire to give back. As a music major hoping to be a music therapist for struggling kids, Caron feels “inspired by the way Rihanna used music to give back to something bigger than her” the same way she strives to do in the future.
As a successful businesswomen with grace and empathy, Rihanna’s love and admiration for where she grew up has not gone unnoticed. The cultural fluidity that she has experienced along with her success as a musician and businesswoman has led to extensive development within Barbados.