JAY-Z joins a long list of prestigious honorees after accepting the President’s Award at the 50th Annual NAACP ceremony Saturday night. (March 30) The 4:44 artist began his speech with a quote from Abraham Lincoln that he said best describes his 93-year-old grandmother, Hattie White, for who he dedicated the award.
“It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years,” JAY-Z began.
Along with thanking his mother, Gloria Carter, JAY-Z said it was his grandmother’s can-do attitude that helped propel him in life and career.
“She’s so full of life and Hattie White amongst other accomplishments of being super great and tough, she raised seven kids in one little walk-up in Brooklyn,” he explained.
“On top of that, her kids had kids and we were all raised in the same house. One household. So I was speaking to her the other day and I asked her ‘How much money did you make?’ and she made $20 a week and she said, ‘No, but it’s fine. You could do a lot with $20 in those days.’ And with that sort of attitude, that’s how I grew up.”
The President’s Award is given to those who’ve completed distinguished acts of public service. Past honorees include The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Lauryn Hill, and Muhammad Ali. Before closing his speech, JAY-Z thanked Beyonce, as well as her stunning white suit.
“I would like to dedicate this award to the beautiful woman in my life, Ms. Beyonce, just because of the white suit,” he quipped.
— TV One's Unsung Is Back! (@tvonetv) March 31, 2019