Rihanna Rocks, But Not For The Reasons You Think

If you hear the name Rihanna and you think “Please don’t stop the music... music... music... music…” or you think Rihanna might “shine bright like a diamond, shine bright like a diamond,” then you’re missing out on a whole other side to the legendary singer from Barbados. She started her US music career at age 17, but by age 18 she founded her first charity, Believe Foundation to help terminally ill children. 


When it comes to her music, Rihanna has won so many awards that we can’t even list them in the for the insane amount of scrolling that would ensue. But they are listed here. The most noteworthy are the 8 Grammy awards (32 nominations) and the Guiness World Records. One of which was for Female Artist with the most US number one singles in a year. 


But this year, awards are rolling in for her other passion, philanthropy. 


Rihanna donated to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Bridgetown for the Clara Braithwaite Centre for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine. The center is named after her grandmother who passed away. This substantial donation was part of the reason that she was awarded the Harvard Humanitarian Award this year.


According the the Harvard Gazette, she received the award not only for her “state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine” in Bridgetown Barbados, but also because:


“In 2012, she founded the nonprofit the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program [named for her grandparents] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls, and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today. ”


Rihanna accepted the award while creating a gif worthy ponytail flick moment. 




In her speech, she encouraged Harvard students by telling them “all you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return” and “do whatever you can to help in any way that you can.” Then Harvard concluded her speech with the most adorable kid in Cambridge giving her flowers.


She is also slated to receive an award on May 22nd from Parsons School of Design in NYC. The school honors “individuals that empower young women” at a their annual gala. 


According to NY Magazine, Rihanna responded to the news of the award with:


“It’s such a thrill to know that a design school as prestigious as Parsons School of Design would present me with this honor,” Rihanna said in the statement. “I consistently find creative and exciting designs coming from Parsons alumni, so I feel a deep connection to the school.” (She’s worn pieces by several recent grads, including Matthew Adams Dolan and Melody Ya Jun Lin.) “But I am especially grateful that Parsons would recognize me for the work I’ve done in regards to philanthropy.”


As an artist she had to balance out the philanthropic awards news with being awarded her 29th #1 song on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart. And then follow that news buzzing about the trailer of her acting in Luc Besson's film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets that will hit theaters this July. 


If you’re so impressed by Rihanna that you wish you could be in her shoes, she can make that happen, too. There’s now Fenty Puma by Rihanna where you can kick it in her kicks. Her sneaker bow shoe was so popular that it already sold out. And if you're wondering why the brand name Fenty? Rihanna is so iconic that we often forget she has a full name, Robyn Rihanna Fenty. 


Robyn Fenty was a little girl growing up in Bridgetown who dreamed of helping others. I guess dreams do come true. 

Bev Gray