The NAACP Image Awards was jam-packed with powerful moments from Hollywood’s brightest stars and political players, and JAY-Z and Beyonce served up a few when they each nabbed a few of the night’s top honors.
JAY-Z was this year’s recipient of the coveted President’s Award, presented by NAACP President Derrick Johnson. The President’s Award is presented in recognition of a special achievement and distinguished public service. Past recipients include Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Muhammad Ali among others.
When Hov took the stage, Beyonce was all smiles as she applauded him from the crowd before he delivered an inspirational acceptance speech and dedicated the award to his 93-year-old grandmother, Hattie White and quoted Abraham Lincoln.
“It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years,” he said before describing his grandmother. “Hattie White, amongst other accomplishments and being super great and very tough, raised seven kids in one little walk up in Brooklyn.”
He also took time to send love to some other special women in his life, including his wife as she smiled from the crowd in a gorgeous white suit.
“I grew up believing I could do anything. That I could accomplish anything because of those strong women in my house,” he said. “I would like to dedicate this award to those beautiful women. I’d like to dedicate this award to the beautiful woman in my life, it’s Beyonce, just because of the white suit.”
Beyonce received the last award of the night, being named Entertainer of The Year for the second time, and used her moment at the microphone to praise the accomplishments of her fellow nominees in the category including LeBron James, Chadwick Boseman, Regina King, and Ryan Coogler.
“Regina King, I love you so much You have taught us patience, peristence, and how to be masterful in your craft. Chadwick Boseman is teaching children to dream and to see themselves as kings. LeBron James has taught us the strength of all forms of leading by example and providing education for our kids,” she said.
“Ryan Coogler tells out stories in a way that celebrates our history and proves that we do have power at the box office. I’m honored to be included among all of you and to be a part of a vital, thriving, beautiful community. Thank you so much NAACP. God bless you. I hope y’all had a great night.”