Last night, Queen Latifah became emotional while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 BET Awards ceremony.
The legend’s award was introduced by MC Lyte, who called Latifah “my sister in hip-hop but even more importantly, my sister in life.”
She added that Latifah is “a woman who has been creating magic for decades — an undeniable, unstoppable force of nature” and described her as a “Swiss Army knife,” thanks to her many “career-defining roles,” from rapping to acting to producing.
Stars who paid her tribute include Megan Thee Stallion, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim and more in a pretaped video segment.
Latifah brought her father onstage while accepting the award, along with a photo of her mother, who died in 2018. “I am so extremely moved, I don’t even know what to say,” she said, choking up, before thanking God and her parents, family, friends and fans for supporting “every crazy-ass thing I’ve done over the years.”
She also thanked BET for “creating an outlet for beautiful Blackness to thrive, to shine. 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 to this night, right now, right here.”
She also gave thanks to Shakim Compere, her partner in the production company Flavor Unit Entertainment. “I would not be standing on this stage tonight without the dreams, aspiration, partnership of my partner, Shakim Compere. Shakim, I thank you right now for keeping your promise to my mother to always protect me,” she said.
Latifah gave a shoutout to “Eboni, my love, Rebel, my love” –her rumoured longtime partner, Eboni Nichols, and son — neither of whom she has publicly confirmed a relationship with or spoken about. “Peace, happy Pride,” she ended her speech.