Michelle Obama honours "the Queen," Beyoncé, at the BET Awards

Erica Gonzales
Photo credit: BET

From Harper's BAZAAR

Although the BET Awards were presented virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, that didn't stop the ceremony from putting together some high-profile attendees - including two of biggest names out there: Michelle Obama and Beyoncé.

The former first lady virtually presented the singer with the esteemed Humanitarian Award at this year's ceremony, honouring the charity work she's accomplished through the years, namely through her BeyGOOD organisation. Obama introduced the superstar as "the queen" and applauded her efforts in demanding justice for the Black community and celebrating the Black experience through her art.

"You inspire me. You inspire all of us," Obama said to the music icon in a video.

Through BeyGOOD, the 24-time Grammy winning artist has launched projects including scholarships for students attending historically Black colleges and universities, and bringing clean water to vulnerable communities in Burundi, ABC News reports. Just this year, Beyoncé and her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson helped fund Covid-19 testing centres in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She also collaborated with Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate $6 million (about £4.8 million) to mental health organisations amidst the global pandemic.

Read Obama's full introductory speech for Beyoncé below.

I am here today to talk about the queen. You know, the one. Ever since she was a little girl in Houston, Beyonce Knowles Carter has been lighting up the stages and gracing the world with her talent, with her generosity and spirit, and with her love for her community. 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. That's why she's always pulling up young performers like Chloe x Halle, and that orchestra that dazzled us in her 'Homecoming' special. That's why she's calling out sexism and racism when she sees it, paving a path for new artists who are trying to navigate the music industry.

That's why she went out of her way to rewrite, "Get Me Bodied" for the White House's "Let's Move" campaign and got a whole lot of kids shaking it on the dance floor. She's always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bit better, a little more fierce, and she's doing it all while staying devoted to her children and the loved ones she holds dear. So to my girl, I just want to say: you inspire me. You inspire all of us. Which is why I'm so proud to name Beyonce, the 2020 BET Awards' Humanitarian of the Year Honouree. Congratulations, girl. Love you so much.

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