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In Pictures: Rihanna’s Barbados
By Tom Adkinson
February 10, 2023

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Rihanna – singer, fragrance creator, fashion mogul – has a special title in her native Barbados. In 2018, the governor of the Caribbean island nation named her “ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary,” with special duties to promote education, tourism and investment. Every entertainment or business move she makes has the potential to promote the island destination of blue skies, picturesque beaches, British history and 280,000 citizens, many of whom share Rihanna’s smile. Rihanna gets a big stage on Feb. 12 when she headlines the halftime show of the 2023 Super Bowl. Here are images from the island where she spent her earliest years.

Blue water, blue sky at Pebbles Beach

pebble beach barbados
Blue Caribbean water meets a blue Barbados sky at Pebbles Beach on the southwest side of the island nation. The beach is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site that primarily features the capital, Bridgetown. Image by Tom Adkinson

Happy Bajan smiles are abundant

barbados fishermans pub
This Bajan smile belongs to Junior, a happy presence at the Fisherman’s Pub in Speighstown, a coastal community north of Bridgetown. “Bajan” is the term residents call themselves. “Barbadian” is used in formal circumstances, such as on government forms. Image by Tom Adkinson

Casting for dinner

pebbles beach fisherman
A surf caster works the waves off of a rock jetty around the coast from Pebbles Beach. Many anglers use cut bait because the aromas make it appealing to sea bass, mahi-mahi and bluefish. Image by Tom Adkinson

Fishing with simple equipment

caribbean sun silhouettes pier fisherman
A setting Caribbean sun silhouettes a pier fisherman using the simplest system there is – throwing a baited hook by hand and keeping a tight line to detect a strike. Image by Tom Adkinson

Grilling out at Oistin

oistins community friday night grill
Friday nights are particularly busy at the Oistins community, where multiple vendors grill steaks, chicken and especially fish (tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi, flying fish) for locals and visitors alike. There’s a festival atmosphere at the end of the traditional workweek. Image by Tom Adkinson

Click, click, click

barbados dominoes
The clinking of domino tiles and the rousing conversations among domino players are part of the party atmosphere on a night in Oistins. The aromas of grilling fish and the enjoyment of a cold Banks beer add to the scene. Image by Tom Adkinson

George Washington slept here

george washington trip to barbados
The only time George Washington left North America was a trip to Barbados in 1751, when he accompanied his half-brother, Lawrence Washington, there. Lawrence Washington had tuberculosis, and winter in the tropics was a treatment. George Washington noted in his diary that he was “perfectly ravished” by the beauty of Barbados. Image by Tom Adkinson

Trip-planning resources: and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available on

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