This is the first in an ongoing series of articles on celebrity philanthropists. Celebrity gossip abounds, but celebrities are human, and just like the rest of us -- do good, volunteer and donate money to charity. "Celebrity Philanthropist in the News" pieces will focus on the positive aspects of the lives of the rich and famous.
Pop superstar, Robyn Rihanna Genty, better known mononymously as "Rihanna," gave $1.75 million to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Bridgetown, Barbados. The donation was given in honor of Rihanna's grandmother, Clara "Dolly" Braithwaite, who passed away in June from cancer.
Monica Fenty, the superstar's mother, and grandfather, Lionel Braithwaite, attended the opening ceremony for the new wing of the hospital along with her. After the ceremony, Rihanna posted an Instagram photo, along with a tweet that read: "Me and grand pops in Barbados at the unveiling ceremony in memory of #granDolly at QEH.”
Her entire donation will go to the radiotherapy department, which has been renamed the "Clara Braithwaite Centre for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine." The money paid for three vital pieces of equipment worth more than $3.5 million Barbados dollars.
Rolling Stone reported on Rihanna's motivation: "I believe that this will have a huge impact on the people of Barbados. This was all done to save lives or at least extend it, and I thank you all for being a part of it." She expressed a desire to give back to her home country, Barbados.
Rihanna was included on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, with reported earnings of $53 million as of May 2012. She earns money via music as well as endorsements and her fragrance, "Reb'l Fleur."