The love between Chicago natives was strong at Sunday night’s 2017 BET Awards when former first lady Michelle Obama delivered a special pre-taped dedication to BET Humanitarian Award winner Chance the Rapper. Obama has approved of Chance’s charitable giving in the past, and considering both are do-gooders living completely in the public eye (oh, and they both hail from Chicago), it made sense that Obama would deliver a sweet speech about Chance before he came onstage to accept his award.
Chance, one of the youngest ever winners of the BET Humanitarian Award, was being honored for his commitment to making Chicago public schools a better place to receive an education as well working to make communities of color thrive. Obama, who dedicated her time to helping the children of America while she was the first lady as well as often making efforts to better the lives of others, knows a little something about Chance’s charitable works in that regard.
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“We are so incredibly proud of you, Chance,” Obama told the audience, speaking for herself and her husband, former President of the United States Barack Obama. “We have known Chance and his family since he was a wee little baby rapper, and it has been a thrill watching him come into his own in so many ways.”
“In addition to making some really amazing music, Chance has been taking that big bright spotlight that follows him around and he’s shining it on young people in our hometown of Chicago,” she continued. “Time and again, he has been standing up, speaking out and doing the work to get kids in our community the education they deserve. And with these passionate efforts, Chance is showing young people that they matter.”
Obama also noted that she wanted to make sure this award went to an “outstanding role model and an inspiration to all of us who care about our next generation,” just one of the many compliments showered on Chance during his special BET Awards moment. He would later take the stage and jokingly tell people in the audience to “gas [him] up,” as they whooped and clapped for him.
Of course it’s wonderful that Chance received such a meaningful award, but having Obama deliver that special speech was truly next-level special.