Beyoncé Honored As Innovator At iHeartRadio Music Awards: “Being An Innovator Often Means Being Criticized, Which Will Test Your Mental Strength”

Beyoncé made an appearance at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards to accept the Innovator Award, which was presented to her by Stevie Wonder.

“I love you and I honor you. I want to thank you for making a way for all of us,” Beyoncé said as she accepted the trophy. “I’m honored to receive this recognition from you, Steve Wonder. Whenever anyone asks me if it’s anyone I can listen to for the rest of my life, it’s always you.”

More from Deadline

Wonder also had some kind words for Beyoncé, saying, “I just want to thank you for motivating the world to become a better place.”

RELATED: iHeartRadio Music Awards Complete Winners List

Beyoncé also showed her gratitude to the singer for playing the harmonica on her version of “Jolene,” which was released with her latest album Cowboy Carter.

The singer was grateful for being honored with the Innovator Award, noting, “Innovation starts with a dream. But then you have to execute that dream, and that road can be very bumpy.”

“Being an innovator is saying what everyone believes is impossible,” she continued. “Being an innovator often means being criticized, which often will test your mental strength. Being an innovator is leaning on faith and trusting that God will catch you and guide you.”

“So, to all the record labels, every radio station, every award show, my hope is that we’re more open to the joy and liberation that comes from enjoying art with no preconceived notions.”

Beyoncé went on to thank all the innovators “who have dedicated their lives and their art to creating a shift,” thanking them for their sacrifices, powerful voices, and dauntless spirits,” the star namedropped Rosetta Tharpe, Miss Tracy Chapman, Linda Martell, Steve Wonder, Andre 3000, Tina Turner and Michael Jackson.

The “Texas Hold ‘Em” singer also mentioned her husband calling him her rock and best friend, as well as her three children “who continue to be my inspiration and my biggest blessing.”

Check out Beyoncé’s full speech above.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.