BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS (CBS) Barbados declared hit singer Rihanna a national hero on Tuesday during its republican celebrations in her hometown of Bridgetown.

Cheers erupted when Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that the 33-year-old would be awarded the honor of National Hero of Barbados. Rihanna was called up before the crowds to be congratulated by Mottley.

Rihanna was born in Barbados in 1988 and raised in Bridgetown, where she lived until being discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers as a teenager and then moving to the U.S. to start her music career.

The title of National Hero comes 3 years after Rihanna was named Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for her home country, a role that involves promoting education, tourism and investment.

“On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for National Hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty,” said Mottley. “May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions,” referencing her 2012 chart-topping single “Diamonds”.

Barbados ditched Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state, forging a new republic on Tuesday with its first-ever president and severing its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island.

At the stroke of midnight, the new republic was born to the cheers of hundreds of people lining Chamberlain Bridge in the capital, Bridgetown. A 21 gun salute fired as the national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square.