BET Awards: Queen Latifah Sheds Tears During Lifetime Achievement Speech

Queen Latifah accepts Lifetime Achievement honor at BET Awards. (Credit: BET)

Queen Latifah got emotional Sunday night while accepting the lifetime achievement honor at the 2021 BET Awards.

As she stepped in front of the fully-vaccinated studio audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Queen Latifah brought her father on stage and held a photo of her late mother, who passed away in 2018 after a long battle with a heart condition.

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“I’m so extremely moved, I don’t even know what to…” she said in her speech as her voice trailed off.

The rapper, actress and producer wiped away tears and reflected on her life and career. She thanked God, her parents, friends and family, and praised BET for the opportunities the network has given Black artists over the years.

“When we couldn’t get played on the radio in other places, we couldn’t get our videos played in other places, there was BET that allowed us to be in our fullness and to shine,” she said.

The rap icon also encouraged the audience to embrace being Black and gave a nod to the night’s theme “Year Of The Black Woman.”

“Be Black. Black is beautiful. I’ve always celebrated the woman because I was raised by a strong Black woman. And raised by a father who loves women. We can’t live without each other,” the “U.N.I.T.Y.” rapper said.

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She thanked members of her team, including production partner Shakim Compere, her glam squad, and fans for “supporting every crazy a– thing I’ve done through the years.”

The award-winning actress also gave props to CBS viewers for making The Equalizer the number one new show on television.

Finally, the Girls Trip star gave a shoutout to her partner Eboni Nichols before closing out her speech and wishing everyone a “Happy Pride [Month].”

Monie Love, Rapsody, MC Lyte and Lil Kim performed a musical tribute to Queen Latifah. She thanked her fellow performers as well.

“Thank you my sisters — y’all are my sisters in the name of rap — you always have been,” Queen Latifah said. “Respect to all the female MCs on the stage tonight.”

Taraji P. Henson hosted the awards, which aired Sunday night on BET. Watch Queen Latifah’s speech below: