Chance The Rapper's BET Award For Humanitarian Work Came With A Special Message From Michelle Obama

"Chance is showing our young people that they matter."

At Sunday night's BET Awards, Chance the Rapper became the youngest-ever recipient of the event's Humanitarian Award — a well-deserved honor.

The 24-year-old has gone above and beyond to give back to his hometown of Chicago, from donating $1 million to public schools, to raising $100,000 for charity at his birthday party. He also recently launched a fund for arts programs in the city, and before that, he bought out a movie theater so people could see Jordan Peele's acclaimed film Get Out for free.

Before Chance accepted his award, the show played tributes from fellow stars such as Common and Jesse Williams, who won last year's Humanitarian Award. Then, BET President Debra Lee introduced one final, surprise message from none other than former First Lady Michelle Obama — a fellow Chicago native.

"Barack and I are so sorry that we can't be there tonight in person, but please know that we are with you in spirit and we are so incredibly proud of you, Chance," Mrs. Obama said in a prerecorded video, adding that she and her husband "have known Chance and his family since he was a wee little baby rapper, and it has been a thrill watching him come into his own in so many ways."


Mrs. Obama praised Chance for using his fame to help Chicago's youth, calling him a "role model" and an "inspiration."

"Time and again he has been standing up, speaking out and doing the work to get kids in our community the education they deserve," she said. "And with these passionate efforts, Chance is showing our young people that they matter. That they have something inside of them that is worthy of being expressed, and that they have so much to contribute to their communities and to our country."

When Chance took the stage to accept the award, he told the crowd that he hadn't prepared a speech, instead choosing to "speak from the heart." He shared how he wants to do even more to give back to his loved ones and the world.

Chance, who also won Best New Artist and Best Collaboration, said he wants to be a "better father" to his daughter and a "better cousin" to his family. "I want to be more involved outside of just my community in Chicago. I want to travel overseas and help out people all over the world."

"I'm a good man, and I'm gonna become a better man," he concluded.

Watch Chance's full speech in the video below:


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