Rihanna will be given the award by NAACP president Derrick Johnson during the 51st NAACP Image Awards later this month. Per the NAACP, this award recognizes the recipients' achievements and "distinguished public service."
"Rihanna has not only enjoyed a groundbreaking career as an artist and musician but has also distinguished herself as a stellar public servant," Johnson said. "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."
In recent years, Rihanna has put her music career on hold while pursuing multiple business ventures. In May 2019, the singer revealed that she inked a deal with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to produce an original fashion brand through the luxury group, making her the first woman to have a brand partnership with LVMH.
Rihanna also uses her platform to address social issues. As an immigrant, Rihanna has openly denounced the United State's immigration policies. Additionally, she created the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, which was started in memory of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The funds it collects go to forwarding education and emergency programs around the globe in an effort to improve the quality of life for the world's youth.
Previous winners of the NAACP President’s Award include Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O'Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Muhammad Ali, and JAY-Z. The 51st NAACP Image Awards will air on BET at 8 p.m. ET on Feb. 22.