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Rihanna to receive NAACP President’s Award

The 51st NAACP Image Awards will take place later this month.

Rihanna Debby Wong // Debby Wong/Corbis

The NAACP announced on Tuesday (Feb. 4) that Rihanna will be honored as this year’s recipient of the organization’s President’s Award. According to a report by the Associated Press, the multi-hyphen will be recognized for her career achievements and public service at the 51st NAACP Image Awards, held on Feb. 22.

“Rihanna has not only enjoyed a groundbreaking career as an artist and musician but has also distinguished herself as a stellar public servant,” NAACP president Derrick Johnson, who will present the award, said via the NAACP website. “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.”

Past recipients of the prestigious honor have included Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Muhammad Ali and JAY-Z.

Along with the announcement, the NAACP noted Rihanna’s significant accolades, including nine Grammy Awards and the addition of executive producer, fashion designer, actress, business owner and more to her resume. The organization also applauded Rihanna’s philanthropic efforts, including her Clara Lionel Foundation. Founded in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation supports and funds worldwide education and emergency response programs, aiming toward improving quality of life for young people globally.

Last year, Rihanna partnered her Fenty brand with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton—a conglomerate that includes Givenchy, Dior, Sephora and more—making her the first woman of color to start an original brand under the luxury giant. She also owns a lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, which debuted in 2018.

While her music has been put on the back burner, Rihanna has given a few details about what fans have affectionately named R9. The 31-year-old star’s forthcoming album is expected to be influenced by reggae, a genre that RiRi previously said she holds close to her heart.

The 51st NAACP Image Awards will be broadcast live from Pasadena, CA on BET at 8 p.m. ET on Feb. 22.

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