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Beyoncé encouraged Black Lives Matter protesters to continue fighting for equality and dismantling a racist and unequal system upon accepting the BET humanitarian award during the 20th annual BET Awards ceremony.
“Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain,” said the superstar, who was being honored for her philanthropic work and her recent COVID-19 relief efforts. “I’m encouraging you to take action.”
Beyoncé received the award from Michelle Obama, who dubbed the superstar “the queen.” “You inspire me, you inspire all of us,” the former first lady said to the singer.
In addition to Obama, Beyoncé received tributes from mother Tina Knowles-Lawson and Tyler Perry, who touted pride for their involvement in the singer’s multiple philanthropic efforts.
During her acceptance speech, Beyoncé brought attention to the Black Lives Matter movement but also noted that there’s more work to be done, asking protestors and viewers to take their action to the polls in November.
“I encourage you to take action, to continue to change,” she said. “We have to vote like our lives depend on it, because it does,”
The Sunday night win comes more than a week after the singer released her latest single “Black Parade,” a rap number that celebrates Black culture and heritage. Along with the new number, Beyoncé also launched her BeyGOOD’s Black Business Fund aimed to support Black-owned businesses.
In addition to the humanitarian award, the singer was up for multiple categories including best female R&B/Pop artist and the BET HER award. Beyoncé’s Netflix documentary, Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, was also nominated for the ceremony’s best movie and album of the year.
The singer’s daughter, Blue Ivy Cater followed her parents’ footsteps Sunday night, also taking home her first BET prize. The 8-year-old won the BET HER award for her song “Brown Skin Girl,” a collaboration with her mother, SAINt JHN and WizKid. Carter bested fellow BET HER nominees Alicia Keys, Ciara, Layton Green, Lizzo and Rapsody.
The number, which features lyrics celebrating the natural beauty of Black and Brown girls, first received awards at the 51st NAACP Image Awards back in February and has made its way to the Billboard Hot 100.
Earlier on Sunday, Beyoncé revealed wrote, directed and executive produced a new film titled Black Is King, which will debut globally on Disney+ on July 31.
The 2020 BET Awards, hosted by Amanda Seales, aired on June 28 at 8 p.m. on ViacomCBS’ networks including BET and BET HER.
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