Charlamagne Tha God says women, particularly strong Black women, have been instrumental in his success.
The author and co-host of “The Breakfast Club,” spoke about the women who’ve inspired and advocated for him throughout his career, during a speech at the 2022 Living Legends Foundation Awards in Los Angeles.
Charlamagne, born Lenard McKelvey, received the “Jerry Boulding Radio Executive Award.” After praising trailblazers in the radio industry, including Wendy Williams, Charlamagne talked about landing his first full-time radio job in South Carolina and the women who helped him take his career to the next level.
“When I think back at every game-shifting moment for me in life, it was always a woman, in particular Black women advocating for me because I feel like they always see things in us that we haven’t seen in ourselves just yet,” he said.
Charlamagne then praised his wife, Jessica Gadsden, and took a jab at his critics.
“Even when we’re at our worst, they see what we can be. That’s the only reason I believe my wife has been with me for 24 years… That’s right, I married a Black woman. Most of my critics did not,” he added.
The radio veteran advised other men not to shy away from strong women.
“I tell people all the time, weak men are intimidated by strong women and weak men are afraid to take direction from strong women. Strong men are wise enough to get out of the way and let women lead,” he said.
Charlamagne was one of nine honorees at the Oct. 7 event at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.
Ronald “Slim” Williams and Bryan “Birdman” Williams, co-founders of Cash Money Records, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, however, the two sent in a pre-recorded acceptance speech.
Curtis Symonds, CEO of HBCUGO.TV received the Media Icon Award.
Geo Bivins, CEO of Port Perry Entertainment accepted the Music Executive Award.
Johnnie Walker, founder and CEO of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment, Inc. (NABFEME) took home the Mike Bernardo Female Executive Award.
Tuma Basa, Director of Black Music and Culture at YouTube accepted the Digital Executive Award.
Sharon Heyward, founder and CEO of The Solutionist LLC received the A.D. Washington Chairman’s Award.
Hank Caldwell, founder and CEO of Expert Fixer (formerly of WEA, SOLAR, Epic, and Death Row Records) accepted The Founders Award, presented by chart-topping recording artist Johnny Gill.
Other celebrities who attended the gala included actress Dawnn Lewis, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter PJ Morton, and music executives Sylvia Rhone and Jon Platt.
Watch the video of Charlamagne Tha God above.