Rihanna will receive the President’s Award — which recognizes special achievement and distinguished public service — at the 51st National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Awards on Feb. 22 in Pasadena, California.
“Rihanna has not only enjoyed a groundbreaking career as an artist and musician, but has also distinguished herself as a stellar public servant,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “From her business achievements through [her cosmetics line] 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.”
Rihanna is one of the most successful music artists of the past 20 years, having sold over 250 million records worldwide and earned nine Grammy Awards over her career. She has also launched Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics brand, Savage X Fenty, a lingerie line, and a fashion line with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group.
The NAACP is honoring her professional work as well as her commitment to social activism and philanthropy. In 2012, she founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization committed to aiding underserved communities through health care and education.
Past recipients of the President’s Award include last year’s honoree Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, as well as Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Muhammad Ali.
The Image Awards will be broadcast live on BET networks on Feb. 22. Beyoncé leads the field with eight nominations across all categories. Angela Bassett, Billy Porter, Lizzo, Regina King and Tyler Perry are nominated for entertainer of the year.