“Ever since she was a little girl in Houston, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has been lighting up stages and gracing the world with her talent, with her generosity of spirit, and with her love for her community,” Obama said. “You can see it in everything she does: from her music that gives voice to Black joy and Black pain, to her activism that demands justice for Black lives. And no matter how big the stages get, I know my girl isn’t satisfied unless she’s sharing all that shine she has with the next generation.”
The R&B icon was recognized for her tremendous charitable efforts, especially for her work with BeyGood, which aims to empower young women and which has sponsored several initiatives since 2019.
In addition, she has partnered with UNICEF to create “BeyGood 4 Burundi,” a clean water initiative in East Africa, and launched the #IDIDMYPART initiative, alongside her mother Tina Knowles, to encourage Houston residents to get tested for coronavirus.
Beyoncé spoke after tributes from Tyler Perry and her mother.
“I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change,” she said. “Your voices are being heard, and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain. Now we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote. I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together.”
Beyoncé was nominated for several BET Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Female R&B Artist/Pop Artist. She was also nominated alongside the youngest nominee of the night, her daughter Blue Ivy Carter, for the BET Her award for their “Brown Skin Girl,” which also features WizKid and Saint JHN.