Queen Latifah received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 BET Awards for her illustrious hip-hop and acting career. She shared an inspirational message in her acceptance speech during the televised event, hosted by Taraji P. Henson.
Latifah took the stage with her father, Lancelot Owens, Sr., and a photo of her late mother, Rita Owens.
“I’m so extremely moved, I don’t even know what to say,” Latifah said, getting emotional.
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“Let me just say that I want to thank God, because God designed this whole thing to be this way. There is no way that I could have had the parents that I was born to, my father, my mother, who instilled so much in me. My family, I love you. My siblings, my best friends who ride or die with me. Whether my face is on the dirt or flying in the sky, they know me and they are there for me” she added.
She further thanked “BET for creating an outlet for beautiful Blackness to thrive, to shine.”
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“ When we couldn’t get played on the radio and other places, we couldn’t get our videos played in other places, there was BET, that allowed us to be in our fullness and to shine to this night right now, right here. Bless everybody that graced the stage tonight and everyone in the audience for all your support,” she continued. “Be Black. Black is beautiful,” she added.
Latifah continued, sharing that she’s always celebrated women because she was raised by a strong Black woman and a father who loves women.
“We can’t live without each other. I wanted to celebrate us because I know together, we stand stronger,” she shared. “So respect to all the females on the stage tonight.”
The performer thanked her team, including her longtime business partner Shakim Compere, before sharing a message to her fans.
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“I thank you so much, all of you, the fans, for supporting every crazy thing I’ve done through the years,” she said. “Peace and happy Pride!”
Before her speech, there was a tribute performance for her featuring Rapsody and Lil’ Kim. Rapsody first performed Latifah’s “Ladies First,” before Kim and MC Lyte belted out “U.N.I.T.Y.”