Legendary rapper, actress, and businesswoman Queen Latifah received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 BET Awards. Latifah, who is 51, was honored for her 30 year contribution to the arts, which includes music, TV, and film.
Latifah took the stage with her father Lancelot Owens, Sr. by her side. She was also holding a picture of her late mother, Rita Owens. During her speech, Latifah, who was clearly emotional, said:
“I’ve always celebrated the woman, because I was raised by a strong Black woman, and raised by a father who loves women,” she said. “We can’t live without each other. I wanted to celebrate us because I know together we stand stronger than when we tear each other apart.”
She also found time to shout out BET, saying “When we couldn’t get played on the radio in other places, we couldn’t get our videos played in other places, there was BET that allowed us to be in our fullness.”
At the end of the speech, Latifah said:
“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 performance dedicated to Latifah. Legendary rappers Lil’ Kim, Monie Love, Rapsody, and MC Lyte performed a medley of Queen Latifah songs, including classics like “Just Another Day,” “Ladies First,” and the all-time masterpiece “UNITY.”
Check out the performance below.
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