Stevie Wonder Presents Beyoncé With The Innovator Award At The iHeart Radio Music Awards – BET

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Watching living legend Stevie Wonder fans out over and cheering for Beyoncé is certainly some salve. It healed something. The Queen Bey herself graced the iHeart Radio Awards with her designer Country-dripped presence to accept the Innovator Award from Stevie Wonder, who she revealed played the harmonica on her rendition of “Jolene” off her latest album, Cowboy Carter.

“Yeah yeah yeah!” Stevie Wonder chanted as Beyoncé accepted the honor.

Beyoncé turned to the crooner, saying, “I love you and honor you. I want to thank you for making a way for all of us. I’m honored to receive this recognition from you, Steve Wonder. Whenever anyone asks me if it’s anyone I can listen to for the rest of my life, it’s always you.”

Stevie was visibly moved and quickly said to Bey, “I just want to thank you for motivating the world to become a better place.”

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The exchange melted the entire event population’s hearts into puddles. Two icons of this magnitude with deep love and appreciation for one another is a beautiful dance to witness.

Beyoncé continued excitedly, while the crowd bubbled, “Innovation starts with a dream. But then you have to execute that dream, and that road can be very bumpy. Being an innovator is saying what everyone believes is impossible.”

She continued, “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.”

And while everyone hung on to her every word, Beyoncé dropped her message for equity in the music industry and beyond. She said, “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.”

Beyoncé took time in her speech to honor the innovators who defied all labels placed on them, the innovators who stood tall before her, the innovators “who have dedicated their lives and their art to creating a shift,” like Rosetta Tharpe, Tracy Chapman, Linda Martell, Prince, Steve Wonder, Andre 3000, Tina Turner and Michael Jackson.

Finally, she thanked her team, her husband–her best friend, her rock—and her three children, who inspire and bless her. The crowd just kept wooing, honored for the chance to breathe the same air as Queen Bey. And if she couldn’t be more angelic, Beyoncé carefully collected Stevie Wonder and escorted him offstage. Her care was palpable.

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