Former NAACP chapter leader Rachel Dolezal sparked debates about racial identity earlier this year after her estranged parents said she was white and was pretending to be black, but for one pop star she's become "a bit of a hero."
Rihanna told Vanity Fair that Dolezal should be praised for sparking the discussion on racial identity.
"I think she was a bit of a hero, because she kind of flipped on society a little bit," Rihanna told the magazine for their November cover story. "Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black? Black is a great thing, and I think she legit changed people's perspective a bit and woke people up."
Dolezal, 37, admitted in an interview on NBC's "Today" show that she has indulged in "some level of creative nonfiction" in how she's described her life but still identifies as black.
"I definitely am not white. Nothing about being white describes who I am," she told "Today's" Savannah Guthrie. "I'm more black than I am white. That's the accurate answer from my truth."
She said that at the age of 5 she would draw her portrait with the "brown" crayon, instead of the "peach," colored one and would depict herself with curly hair.
Dolezal's mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, directly disputed those claims.
Dolezal resigned from her NAACP position in Spokane, Washington, as well as a part time teaching position at Eastern Washington University in the African-studies program.