Rihanna received the Rock Star Award at this year’s annual Black Girls Rock! Awards hosted by BET. The singer known for such hits as “Work” and “B*tch Better Have My Money” gave a reluctant yet moving acceptance speech upon receiving her hardware. “You know, role model is not the title they like to give me, you know,” she initially jokes. But the “Bad” girl’s rhetoric quickly changed its tone and the Pop/R&B delivered an impactful message in which she empowers and encourages everyone to love and respect themselves–a message directed towards young black women.
“I believe God put us all here for a reason and we all have our purpose and we are here to fulfill our purpose individually,” Rihanna said. “I think the thing that’s kept me sane, the thing that’s kept me humble, the thing that’s kept me successful is being myself. I only know how to do that. This world is so big and it can be so confusing at times that you tend to forget and you tend to be so indented or tainted by society and the only thing that’s kept me going is being myself. And the minute you learn to love yourself you would not want to be anybody else.”
The Black Girls Rock! Awards took place at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 1, 2016 in Newark, NJ. Watch Rihanna’s uplifting speech below.