Queen Latifah Accepts BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Contributed by Scott Lipscomb

Last night Queen Latifah accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 BET awards.

“In 2006, the cultural icon, born Dana Owens, became the first hip-hop artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was one of the first major performers to have a presence on both the big and small screen, with slots on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Juice, Living Single, Set It Off, The Queen Latifah Show, Beauty Shop and more.” said Essence in a press release.

Not only a great actress, but Owens also was the first rapper ever to appear in a super bowl halftime show in 1997. A few of her albums include: All Hail the Queen, Nature of a Sista and Black Reign. Her song “U.N.I.T.Y” remains a fan favorite and won the 1995 Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.

She recently was in Girls Trip in 2017 alongside Set It Off co-star Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as stars in and co produces the show Equalizer.

A tribute of her songs was preformed by Rapsody, Monie Love, Lil Kim and MC Lyte paid tribute to Latifah with a medley of “Ladies First” and “U-N-I-T-Y.”

Her acceptance speech showed gratitude and thanks to many of the people who have helped her on her amazing journey.

“Thank you so much, everyone. Thank you, my sisters – y’all my sisters in the name of rap. You always have been. I’m so extremely moved that I don’t even know what to say. Let me just say that I want to thank God because God designed this whole thing to be this way,” an emotional Latifah, 51, began her acceptance speech.”

“There is no way that I could have had the parents that I was born to – my father, my mother [who died in 2018], who is still so much in me – my family, I love you – my siblings. My best friends who ride or die with me whether my face is on the dirt or I’m flying in the skies – they know me. And they’re there for me.”

“I want to thank BET for creating an outlet for beautiful blackness to thrive, to shine. When we couldn’t get played on the radio and other places; we couldn’t get our videos played. There was BET, that allowed us to be in our fullness and to shine. To this night, right now, right here – bless everybody and everyone in the audience for all your support. Black is beautiful. I was raised by strong black women. We can’t live without each other. Celebrate. Celebrate us so together we stand stronger.”

Latifah went on to praise Shakim Compere, her business partner in Flavor Unit Entertainment.

“Shakim, I thank you right now for keeping your promise to my mother, to always protect me. Thank you for always protecting me and loving me. I love you for that.”

She wrapped up by telling fans how much she appreciates their support of all aspects of her career, before sending a sweet message to her family.

“I’m gonna get off this stage, but I thank you so much for all of you, the fans for supporting every crazy-ass thing I’ve done through the years. And thank you for making Equalizer No. 1. Eboni, my love. Rebel, my love. Peace. Happy Pride!”

People Magazine reported on the award after the 2021 BET Awards.