Former first lady Michelle Obama honored Beyoncé at the 20th annual BET Awards ceremony Sunday night by presenting the singer and activist with the 2020 Humanitarian Award, according to a report.
“I am here to talk about The Queen, you know the one,” Obama said in a video presentation, USA Today reported.
“Ever since she was a little girl in Houston, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has been lighting up the stages and gracing the world with her talent, with her generosity of spirit and with her love for her community,” she 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,” Obama continued.
“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 presentation focused on the 38-year-old superstar’s work with the community, education efforts, low-income housing and providing support during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
After Obama’s tribute, Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson said her daughter has always been “blessed to give back” to the community.
In a video, Beyoncé called the honor “beautiful” and dedicated it “to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change.”
She added: “Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”
Beyoncé during the 2020 BET AwardsGetty Images via Getty Images
Beyoncé ended her remarks by urging voter participation.
“I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to work to change a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together,” she said. “We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does.”