Rihanna and Hillary Clinton were among the incredible women who attended BET’s Black Girls Rock! event over the weekend. Others included Kelly Rowland, Amandla Stenberg, Debbie Allen, Gladys Knight, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Tatyana Ali, Danai Gurira and host of the night, Ellis Ross.
Rihanna took home the Rock Star Award, which became emotional for the singer after viewing her video montage which featured footage of her grandmother. “This is an important moment in my career to be celebrated because I’m black,” She said.
She also reminded us of the key to being an inspiring woman in today’s society, despite what has been said about you: loving yourself and being the best version of yourself you can possibly be. “Role model is not the title they like to give me, which is why tonight, it is so important. I know I am inspiring girls to be themselves and that’s half the battle,” she said.
Clinton’s appearance was a surprise for all as she stood up to make a speech. She spoke about a variety of topics, such as the influence women like Dr. Maya Angelou and Michelle Obama have had on her life, and introduced founder of Black Girls Rock, Beverly Bond. Bond inspired the audience through her empowering words, sharing this powerful message with young women.
“We are told our black is not beautiful, but our features can be bought and sold to enhance other people,” she said. “I started Black Girls Rock! because I love us and believe in us.”
According to Billboard, the performances were just as inspiring as the speeches. The show started with Ross’ montage of anthems including Rihanna’s Work and Janet Jackson‘s Control. Jazmine Sullivan performed Mona Lisa before Clinton took the stage and Hill closed the show with a two-song medley and reprise of Lost Ones.
The event will air on BET on April 5th.