Pop star Rihanna has been named Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year, and will accept the Ivy League institution’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony Tuesday.
“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,” her native country, said Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter in a statement.
Rihanna, 29, also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program, for students attending college in the United States from Caribbean countries. It is named for her grandparents, Lionel and the late Clara Braithwaite. Additionally, Counter noted, the singer supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides access to education to children in more than 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls.
The university’s award is presented to “prominent public-spirited leaders each year in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes,” the Harvard Foundation said. Past honorees include United Nations secretaries general Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and Javier Pérez de Cuéllar; actor James Earl Jones; tennis player and activist Arthur Ashe, gender rights advocate Malala Yousafzai and anti-child-labor spokesman Kailash Satyarth.
With estimated earnings of $75 million, Rihanna was ranked fifth in Forbes magazine’s 2016 list of highest-paid musicians.
The singer has not commented on social media.
Meanwhile, Rihanna hit a musical landmark this week, the Los Angeles Times reports. She has now landed 30 songs in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a feat achieved only by the Beatles and Madonna. She charted her 30th hit when “Love on the Brain” entered the top 10.