On Thursday (Sept. 21), the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) hosted their annual awards gala in Beverly Hills. During the evening, the advocacy group presented honors to the likes of Sylvia Rhone, Jermaine Dupri, and Keke Palmer. The event also paid tribute to the late Clarence Avant, who was a member of BMAC’s advisory board, with a performance from BJ the Chicago Kid, Chanté Moore, Luke James, and 1500 or Nothin’. The group delivered a medley of songs from Bill Withers, who was previously signed to Avant’s Sussex Records.
One of the biggest moments of the gala was reserved for Lizzo, who was gifted the BMAC Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award for her reality television series “Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.” The pop star was presented said award by castmembers from the show.
“BMAC, thank you because I needed this right now. God’s timing is always on time!” she said in an emotional speech, as shared by Billboard. “I’ve been blessed to receive a lot of incredible awards. But this one truly hits different because humanitarianism is selfless. And to be kind to someone isn’t a talent. Everyone can do it. It’s a gift that you give.”
She continued, “In all my years of activism and outreach, I have witnessed at the core of every organization, every movement, every march is just people helping people. And they do it every damn day. I get to come in, help and go back to my life as a musician. These people are still helping people because they’ve dedicated their lives to service. And they don’t get awards. They don’t get a round of applause.”
Lizzo closed by revealing that she donated $250,000 to organizations dedicated to the Black community, including the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Black Girls Smile, and the Sphinx Organization. That amount included $50,000 for a Juneteenth scholarship at the University of Houston.
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