LOS ANGELES-Rihanna called for unity as she won the President’s Award during the 51st NAACP Image Awards on Saturday.

The 32-year-old singer was handed the prestigious accolade during the ceremony at the Pasadena Convention Center in recognition of her ‘’groundbreaking career as an artist and musician’’, as well as being a ‘’stellar public servant’’. During her appearance at the show - which honours the achievements of people of colour in motion pictures, TV, music, and literature - Rihanna said: ‘’I’m going to try to keep this simple, because tonight really isn’t about me.

‘’Because the purpose is bigger than me ... My part is a very small part of the work that’s being done in this world - and the work that’s yet to be done.’’ The chart-topping singer then reflected on her philanthropic efforts.

She said: ‘’If there’s anything that I’ve learned, we can only fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I cannot emphasise that enough. ‘’We cannot let the de-sensitivity seep in. The, ‘If it’s your problem, it’s not mine’... When we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jr.’s and the Atatiana Jefferson’s of the world, tell your friends to pull up. ‘’We have been denied opportunities since the beginning of time, and still we prevail. Imagine what we could do together.’’

Previous recipients of the prestigious award include Ella Fitzgerald, Kerry Washington and Spike Lee. Elsewhere, Lizzo was named the Entertainer of the Year, having enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last 12 months.

The 31-year-old star overcame competition from Angela Basset, Billy Porter, Regina King and Tyler Perry to win the coveted gong.

Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan won the Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture prize for his performances in ‘Just Mercy’.