Rihanna joined U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, British fashion designer Stella McCartney and nine others on Monday to be honored as "Women of the Year" .

The annual Women of the Year Awards, published by Glamour Magazine for the past 20 years, pay tribute to women who have made major contributions to entertainment, business, sport, fashion, science and politics.

Barbados-born Rihanna, 21, whose hit songs include "Umbrella" and "Disturbia", joined the list after taking a public stand on domestic violence and urging other women to follow her lead after being beaten by her ex-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown.

Michelle Obama received an award of special recognition for bringing the importance of mentoring to the forefront.

"She has demonstrated a commitment to helping the next generation of girls expand their horizons by providing them with the information and inspiration to envision themselves as the leaders of tomorrow," the magazine said in a statement.

Tennis champion Serena Williams was honored for using her Serena Williams Foundation to give grants to U.S. college students and recently opening a secondary school in Kenya.

Susan Rice, the first female African-American U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was praised for putting women's needs at the forefront of the American agenda at the U.N. while Maria Shriver, California's first lady, was credited for redefining her role into a platform for change and leadership for women.

The winners, featured in the December issue of Glamour magazine on newsstands from November 10, were picked by an advisory board made up of past honorees ranging from Jennifer Lopez to Nora Ephron to Katie Couric.

(Read by Chantal Anderson. Chantal Anderson is a multimedia journalist at the China Daily Web site.)










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