Rihanna receives Black Girls Rock award: 'Success comes from being myself'

By Marilyn Malara  |  April 6, 2016 at 7:19 AM
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NEWARK, N.J., April 6 (UPI) -- Rihanna focused on the power of being oneself during her acceptance speech at BET's Black Girls Rock! awards ceremony.

The "Work" singer was the night's Rock Star Award winner Friday for her long and successful pop and R&B career.

"I believe God put us all here for a reason and we all have our purpose and we are here to fulfill our purpose individually. I think the thing that's kept me sane, the thing that's kept me humble, the thing that's kept me successful is being myself," Rihanna said upon receiving the award statuette. "I only know how to do that."

The singer, currently on her Anti world tour following the release of her eighth studio album, also joked about being a role model -- a title she said is not often connected to her 'bad girl' persona.

"Tonight is so important to me because I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle. That is it. Just be yourself, it's the easiest thing you can be," she said. "All girls rock. Black girls, we just on another level."

Other women highlighted at the awards ceremony held in Newark, N.J. were Shondaland screenwriter Shonda Rhimes; Black Lives Matter activists Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors; and singer Gladys Knight. Actress Amandla Stenberg and Danai Gurira also received awards Friday.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also appeared at the ceremony to speak on the importance of uplifting black women.

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