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Who is this year's Harvard Humanitarian of the Year? Hint: She shines bright like a diamond

Pop star Rihanna has been named Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year. (Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)
Pop star Rihanna has been named Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year. (Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

Rihanna is on fire. 

On Wednesday, the international superstar achieved a status earned only by the Beatles and Madonna — landing 30 songs in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

That same day, she also was named Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard University, shedding light on a lesser-known side of her stardom.

“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,” S. Allen Counter, the Harvard Foundation’s director, said in a statement.

Bursting onto the scene with 2005’s “Pon de Replay,” the 29-year-old singer has gone on to sell 60 million albums and more than 200 million digital tracks throughout her career. Known for her catchy pop anthems, edgy style and sass, the Barbadian also is involved with philanthropy.  

In addition to promoting health, Rihanna is also passionate about education initiatives. She created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program, which supports students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries. The musician also supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which gives girls in developing countries access to education.

Joining the ranks of previous recipients such as actor James Earl Jones, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and gender rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, Rihanna will accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award in a Feb. 28 ceremony on Harvard’s campus.

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