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Beyoncé Accepted Her First Award in the Cowboy Carter Era with a Heartfelt Speech

Beyoncé just won the first award in her Cowboy Carter era, and gave a heartfelt acceptance speech for it.

beyoncé cowboy carter


Beyoncé released her new country-inspired album Cowboy Carter on March 29 after equal parts criticism and excitement from skeptics and fans. Now, within a week, the artist has won her first award since its launch, and went on to give a heartfelt speech acknowledging the “preconceived notions” about her work, and thanking her biggest supporters. Monday evening saw Beyoncé win the Innovator Award at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards, which was presented to her by iconic singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder.

In true Beyoncé fashion, the artist accepted the award wearing a look picked straight from her Cowboy Carter mood board. The ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ singer wore a glossy black leather jacket and pants by Versace, which came with gold hardware, and a matching cowboy hat with an oversized Medusa head logo on the front. Another highlight of the Western-inspired outfit included not one, but two black and gold belts cinching the waist. On stage, Wonder handed the award to Beyoncé after introducing her as a “true visionary”, and thanking her for “motivating the world to become a better place.” The singer returned her gratitude for Wonder by thanking him for “making a way for all of us.” She said, “I’m honored to receive this recognition from you, Stevie Wonder. Whenever anyone asks me if there’s anyone I can listen to for the rest of my life, it’s always you. So thank you, God bless you.” Beyoncé also revealed Wonder’s contribution to Cowboy Carter, by adding, “And thank you for playing the harmonica on ‘Jolene.’”

On a more personal note, the 32-time Grammy winner shared her true meaning of being an innovator, and the challenges she has had to overcome. “Innovation starts with a dream. But then you have to execute that dream, and that road can be very bumpy,” she said. “Being an innovator is seeing what everyone believes is impossible. Being an innovator often means being criticized, which often will test your mental strength. Being an innovator is leaning on faith and trusting that God will catch you and guide you. So, to all the record labels, every radio station, every award show, my hope is that we’re more open to the joy and liberation that comes from enjoying art with no preconceived notions. I want to dedicate this award to all the innovators who have dedicated their lives and their art to creating shifts. So thank you for your sacrifices, your powerful voices and your dauntless spirits.”

The 42-year-old thanked the artists who have paved the way for artists like herself by defying “any label placed upon them,” including Rosetta Tharpe, Miss Tracy Chapman, Linda Martell, Prince, Stevie Wonder, André 3000, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson. “Thank you for executing your dream so we could all follow,” she added. To end her speech, Beyoncé thanked her husband Jay-Z, referring to him as “my rock [and] best friend,” as well as her kids, daughter Blue Ivy, and twins Rumi and Sir. “My three beautiful children who continue to be my inspiration and my biggest blessing,” she said.

Read Next: Beyoncé on the Deeply Personal Experience That Inspired Her Upcoming Country Album

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