Harvard names Rihanna its humanitarian of the year

/ 08:01 AM February 23, 2017
(FILES) This file photo taken on September 30, 2016 shows Barbados-born singer Rihanna before the Christian Dior 2017 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show, in Paris. Lovers who plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with some music in the bedroom have voted -- they do it to Rihanna. Leading streaming service Spotify marked the holiday of love February 14, 2017 by analyzing playlists described by users as songs for making love. The top choice was Rihanna's "Sex With Me," a track off her latest album "Anti" in which the sultry singer boasts of her prowess. / AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK

This file photo taken on Sept. 30, 2016, shows Barbados-born singer Rihanna before the Christian Dior 2017 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show, in Paris.  Harvard University on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, named Rihanna as its 2017 Humanitarian of the Year. AFP

NEW YORK, United States — Rihanna may be best known as an R&B superstar, but on Wednesday she was named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year for her charity work.

The 29-year-old singer from Barbados will be given the award in person on campus on February 28, the university announced.


“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter said.

READ: ‘Sex with Me’: Rihanna tops Valentine’s playlists


She has also set up a scholarship program, named after her grandparents, for Caribbean students studying in the United States, and supports efforts to give girls better access to education in the developing world.

“It is for these philanthropic initiatives and other acts of compassionate sharing that the students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation chose to honor Rihanna with the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award,” Counter said.

The singer joins an illustrious roster of past recipients that includes former UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai, and singer Lionel Richie.

Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has sold more than 200 million records, won eight Grammy Awards and scored 14 number-one hits. She is also celebrated for her style and collaborates with Puma on a clothing line. CBB

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