April 17 (UPI) -- Beyoncé praises Michelle Obama as a strong woman and leader in a new essay.
The 37-year-old singer paid homage to Obama in an essay Wednesday as the former first lady appeared on the 2019 TIME 100, a list of the most influential people around the world.
Beyoncé recalled meeting Obama for the first time on the eve of Barack Obama's presidential inauguration in 2009. She was immediately struck by Obama's calm and confidence ahead of the historic moment.
"Loving Michelle Obama wasn't much of a choice. It was something that came naturally, because of how she carried herself. Because she resembled us and was moving in spaces where, as black Americans, we weren't exactly meant to be, she seemed so powerful," the star wrote.
"The way she looked, walked and spoke, in that warm but authoritative tone, we saw our mothers and sisters," she explained. "She was strong and ambitious and spoke her mind without sacrificing honesty or empathy. That takes a lot of courage and discipline."
Beyoncé lauded Obama for using her power to improve the world through such initiatives as Reach Higher. She said the former first lady has remained an inspiration after leaving the White House.
"I'm honored to know such a brilliant black woman who's spoken about the sacrifice it takes to balance her passions while remaining a supportive partner and mother, and now a best-selling author with Becoming. She has continued to open herself up, even if meant being criticized. She has continued to be a portrait of grace," the singer said.
"I am so grateful that my daughters and my son live in a world where Michelle Obama shines as a beacon of hope who inspires all of us to do better and to be better," she concluded.
The TIME 100 gala will take place April 23 in New York. TIME announced Wednesday honorees Taylor Swift and Khalid will perform at the event.
Beyoncé released the album Homecoming: The Live Album and the Netflix documentary Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé Wednesday. The album includes the new song "Before I Let Go."