New York's GLAAD Media Awards are set to be held on May 5, and on Wednesday (April 25) Billboard announced Jay-Z's mom, Gloria Carter, will receive a Special Recognition Award for her coming out story, which was told through the rapper's song, "Smile," off 4:44.

During the track, Gloria gives an emotional speech about having to live another life for so long. "You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you love," she says in the song. "The world is changing and they say it's time to be free. But you live with the fear of just being me."

"By sharing her truth with the world, Gloria Carter increased visibility of lesbian women of color at a critical time and sent a powerful message of empowerment to the entire LGBTQ community,”GLAAD's president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “Her story and the unconditional love that her family exhibits resonate with so many. The GLAAD Media Awards will be a critical platform to honor her work and further this important message.”

Jay-Z recently opened up about the joy he felt when his mother came out to him on a recent episode of David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. 

“Imagine having lived your life for someone else," he says during the interview. "And you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn’t want to embarrass her kids, and you know, for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone.’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”

The GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles were held in April. Britney Spears and Jim Parsons were honored.

 

Stars Who Bravely Came Out: