BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Adele paid tribute to the many women — including her mother, grandmother and aunts — who helped shape her world and personality since her childhood.
The superstar singer then praised actor Kerry Washington and found herself surprised in the presence of singer Dua Lipa after receiving the prestigious Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Breakfast Gala on Thursday. She was given the award by Helen Mirren for her outstanding performance as a leading lady and her philanthropic work in Hollywood.
"You are the absolute epitome of what it means to open doors and, more importantly, leave them open," said Adele of Lansing, the first lady to head Hollywood Studios. The singer has been a supporter of LGBTQ and women's rights, and is involved with an organization that helps provide clean water to countries in need.
Oscar winner Mirren praised Adele's musical talent. The actress said she felt a "shudder" down her back when she heard the singer's debut single "Hometown Glory".
Mirren said of 16-time Grammy winner Adele, "That chill comes only a few times in your life when you realize you're listening to a brilliant and game-changing new artist." Livelihood. "I thought, 'Wow, there's a goddess walking among us.' ,
Adele's shoot-from-the-hip speech, which included several F-bombs, drew laughter and applause from the audience. She said that the women in her family molded her into the person she is today through her boisterous and strong personality.
“They are a mighty force and quite frankly quite terrifying. But that was because they had to be,” the singer said. “She had to learn the hard way what it meant to be a woman. In turn, they became hardened. His character was his armor. But thanks to them, my character is my skin.
Previous honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston and Barbra Streisand.
In her speech, Adele expressed her gratitude to Kerry Washington, who was previously honored with the Equity in Entertainment Award, which recognized her for amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry.
Actress Ariana DeBose, who presented the award to Washington, praised how the "Scandal" actress "broke traditional stereotypes" of being a black woman in Hollywood.
"Every component of the career that (Washington) has built, the empire he's built speaks to equality," said DeBose, who stars in "West Side Story." “How has he done that? By being himself and creating space.”
Previously, Will Ferrell had lobbied Washington to run for president.
“Please? We'll pay you,” Ferrell joked, and the audience laughed. “We'll do a GoFundMe right here in the room, and we'll launch you.”
After accepting her award, Washington talked about the importance of building equity — a term, she says, her 9-year-old daughter recently learned about.
“We cannot develop equality without making space for each other's truths,” he said. Everyone is included. This is the path to equality.”
Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello, Billie Lourd and Lily Gladstone awarded four full-ride scholarships to Chapman University and Loyola Marymount as part of THR's Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program.
Over $1 million in university scholarships was awarded to female high school seniors from underserved communities in Los Angeles. High school students will also be paired with top level female entertainment executives, lawyers and agents.
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