Janelle Monáe Accepts Special Honour At Critics Choice Awards

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Janelle Monáe was honoured Sunday at the 28th Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles with the SeeHer Award, which recognizes women who advocate for gender equality and portray characters on screen with authenticity.

“There are so many ways to describe Janelle: visionary artist, brilliant musician, inspirational, one-of-a-kind human being,” gushed Kate Hudson, who co-starred with the Grammy-winning singer in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

“To know her, to see the care and dedication she nurtures in her relationships and in her art, is to really fall in love with her.”

Monáe, who uses the pronouns she/her and they/them, explained in her acceptance speech: “I’ve tried to make an effort in my work, whether it’s storytelling through music, through film, through TV, through fashion, through literature, to highlight the ones who have been pushed to the margins of society who’ve been outcast or relegated to the other.

“I am non-binary, I am queer, and my identity influences my decisions in my work. I’ve always believed that through storytelling, we are able to shed light on a human experience, an experience that most people around this world won’t get an opportunity to see."

Monáe added: “I keep this glimmer of hope in my heart that when someone meets a character, like the ones I’ve had an opportunity to play, you’d be more empathetic to their experience … You want to be more like them. You want to be more kind, less judgmental, and more eager to advocate for them.”

Previous recipients of the SeeHer Award include Viola Davis, Zendaya and Gal Gadot.

The Critics Choice Award for Best Song went to “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, beating Taylor Swift’s “Carolina,” Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” and Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up.” Last week, “Naatu Naatu” was named Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards and it is shortlisted for a nod at the Academy Awards (nominations will be announced Jan. 24).

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