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Beyoncé Accepts Innovator Award at 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Beyoncé received her much-deserved Innovator Award at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday night (April 1), and the “Texas Hold ‘Em” superstar took the stage to accept her trophy from a fellow icon, Stevie Wonder.

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“Whenever anyone asks me if there’s anyone I could listen to for the rest of my life, it’s always you. God bless you,” she told the “Isn’t She Lovely” singer, thanking him for playing the harmonica on her version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” featured on her freshly released album, Cowboy Carter.

Wonder then sweetly told Bey, “I just want to thank you for motivating the world to becoming a better place.”

During her heartfelt acceptance speech, Beyoncé shared what being an innovator means to her. “Innovation starts with a dream, and the road to execute that dream can be very bumpy. Being an innovator is doing what everyone believes is impossible,” she told the crowd, dressed in line with her current country era, rocking a leather jumpsuit with fringe, as well as a big belt with a buckle and a sleek black cowboy hat. “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.”

She continued, “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. Thank you for your sacrifice and your powerful forces and your dauntless spirit.”

Bey then thanked the artistic innovators who inspired her, including Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Tracy Chapman, Linda Martell, Prince, Andre 3000, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson and Wonder, applauding them for “executing your dream so we can all follow.”

The “Break My Soul” singer wrapped up by thanking her team at her Parkwood Entertainment company, as well as her husband Jay-Z, whom she called “my rock, my best friend,” and her three children — 12-year-old Blue Ivy and six-year-old twins Sir and Rumi — “who continue to be my inspiration and biggest blessing.”

Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter arrived on Friday (March 29) and officially became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day in 2024, and marked the most first-day streams for a country album by a female artist in the history of Amazon Music.

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