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Jay-Z on Saturday nigh dedicated the President’s Award to the women in his life when he accepted the honor during the 50th NAACP Image Awards.
“I think I’ll start by saying a quote by our very humble and kind-hearted president,” he jokingly began. “I was talking about Donald Glover.”
The rapper then quoted Abraham Lincoln. “It’s not the amount of years in your life. It’s the amount of life in your years that count in the end,” Jay-Z said. “That quote, it embodies my beautiful grandmother, who I would like to dedicate this award to. Her name is Hattie White. She’s 93 years old.”
“She’s so full of life and Hattie White, amongst other accomplishments of being super great and very tough, she raised seven kids in one little walk-up in Brooklyn,” he continued. “On top of that, her kids had kids and we all was raised in the same house.”
Jay-Z added that while he had another speech prepared to accept the honor, he was inspired to change it after he had a conversation with his grandmother the other day. “I said, ‘How much money did you make?,’ and she made $20 a week,” he revealed. “She said, ‘No, it was fine. You could do a lot with $20 in those days.’ And with that sort of attitude, that’s the way I grew up.”
“I grew up believing I could do anything. I could accomplish anything because of those strong women in my house, so I’d like to dedicate this award to those beautiful women,” he concluded. “I’d like to dedicate this award to the beautiful women in my life.”
Jay-Z also gave a shout-out to his wife, Beyonce.
The prize was presented in recognition of special achievement and distinguished acts of public service. Previous recipients include Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Muhammad Ali.
The NAACP Image Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and were broadcast on TV One. Anthony Anderson served as host.
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