Queen Latifah gracefully accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2021 BET Awards. The rapper, actress, philanthropist, and living legend shared the magnitude of the moment during her speech.
“I want to thank BET for creating an outlet for beautiful blackness to thrive, to shine. When we couldn’t get played on the radio and other places; we couldn’t get our videos played. There was BET, that allowed us to be in our fullness and to shine,” the Just Wright star said.
“To this night, right now, right here, bless everybody and everyone in the audience for all your support. Black is beautiful. I was raised by strong black women. We can’t live without each other. Celebrate. Celebrate us so together we stand stronger.”
She continued to thank her business partner Shakim Compere for their continued protection and love as well as her fans for always watching her movies, and television shows.
“I’m gonna get off this stage, but I thank you so much for all of you, the fans for supporting every crazy-a** thing I’ve done through the years. And thank you for making Equalizer No. 1. Eboni, my love. Rebel, my love. Peace. Happy Pride,” she closed out.
Before she accepted the honor, a woman-powered tribute to the Queen turned up the 2021 BET Awards stage. Rapsody, Monie Love, MC Lyte, and Lil Kim delivered an iconic hip-hop performance of Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First” and “U-N-I-T-Y.”
“She’s just walking inspiration all around,” Rapsody shared with VIBE on the 2021 BET Awards red carpet. “To be a young kid and not really know what life would be for me, but to see her and instantly know what I wanted to do, and that I could do it, and what that looked like…to be here and now celebrating her, on the stage with other legendary women, I couldn’t have dreamt this.”
Watch the full performance below: