Westbury New Road in Saint Michael, Barbados, will be renamed on the country´s Independence Day
On the 30th of November Barbados will celebrate 51 years of independence from the British. On this day, part of the celebrations will be to rename Westbury New Road, a street in one of the eleven parishes of the island, where the capital, Bridgetown, is located. The street will now be named Rihanna Drive, in honor of Barbados’s most famous artist.
Rihanna was born in St. Michael on February 20th, 1988. Her musical career started back in 2003, when she formed a musical group with a couple of her classmates and got discovered by American producer Evan Rogers. After that, she moved to the United States, where she went on to have one of the most successful music careers in pop today. She has received numerous awards, from AMA’s, or American Music Awards, to Grammys. She is well known for her collaboration with rap and hip hop artists, such as Jay Z and Eminem, as well as her solo work, which includes hit songs like “Don’t Stop the Music”, “Only Girl (In the World)”, and “Needed Me”, all of which received Grammy nominations.
Rihanna’s music can be considered as mainly pop, but it has been deeply influenced by Caribbean rhythms, such as reggae and dancehall. Hip hop has also played a major part in influencing the singer’s work, as well as RnB. Therefore, her work is a mixture of Caribbean and American music. This mixture is what creates and allows her unique sound, which has caused her to stand out from the pop music that has been produced.
More recently, Rihanna has released a makeup line, named Fenty Beauty after her last name. The slogan of the brand is “Beauty for All”, because the purpose of the singer was to create products that could work for all skin tones. Due to this, anyone can find their right shade of makeup within the line. From lipsticks, to eyeshadow, to different base products, the Fenty line promises to be one of the cooler, newer high-end beauty lines in the market today. The line includes one particular lip gloss, named “Gloss bomb”, that promises to look good on everyone. This way, Rihanna achieved creating one of the most inclusive beauty brands out there.
Rihanna has also made active efforts along her career to contribute to charity and to help people in vulnerable communities, in Barbados and all over the world. In 2006, she founded the Believe Foundation, an organization created to provide economic help to terminally ill children. She also founded an organization in honor of her grandparents, called the Clara Lionel Foundation, which is dedicated to helping the people of her island. It includes different initiatives, like educational programs and an oncology wing in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Bridgetown. Like her musical accomplishments, her philanthropy has also been awarded and recognized. In February of this year, she was named Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard University’s foundation.
The recognition of the government of Barbados goes deeper than naming a street after a pop star. To Barbados, Rihanna represents hope, and she has dedicated her life to her music and to helping her people, at the same time. For all of these efforts, Westbury New Road will become Rihanna Drive.
Latin American Post | Laura Rocha Rueda