The 10th annual Black Girls Rock! awards, which were televised on BET last night, honored a number of inspiring black women, including Shonda Rhimes, Gladys Knight, Amandla Stenberg, and our April cover star, Rihanna. After the singer was presented with the Rock Star award, she walked up onstage in an ankle-length fur coat and delivered an empowering speech to the crowd.
“It’s a very important moment in my life and my career to be celebrated just because I’m black,” Rihanna said to the audience. “Thank you so much for honoring us; thank you so much for celebrating us in a world that doesn’t celebrate us enough.”
RiRi then went on to thank her mother, whom she called the “strongest black woman I know,” and her grandmother, “who’s 20 times stronger than my mother.” And even though she jokingly acknowledged that she’s not usually labeled as a role model, she still shared her best piece of advice with the crowd: “Tonight is so important to me because I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves. And that is half the battle. That is it—just be yourself, it’s the easiest thing to be.” Before walking offstage, she ended her inspiring speech in signature Bad Gal fashion: “I love you. All girls rock, but black girls, we just on another level!” Watch her entire speech below.
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