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PHOTO: Rihanna speaks onstage at Black Girls Rock! 2016 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, April 1, 2016 in Newark, N.J.

Singer Rihanna and Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC’s hit shows “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” were among the honorees at BET’s annual women’s empowerment awards show, “Black Girls Rock” on Friday.

Held inside the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey, the awards show, hosted by “Blackish” star Tracee Ellis Ross, gathered hundreds to honor women who are change agents in music, television, politics, culture and theater.

Along with Rihanna and Rhimes, other awardees included iconic singer Gladys Knight, “The Hunger Games” actress Amandla Stenberg, “The Walking Dead” actress and playwright Danai Gurira and Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton also took the stage to introduce “Black Girls Rock” founder Beverly Bond.

Each woman who took the stage at the show, which will air Tuesday on BET, gave the audience powerful messages of self-acceptance and self-care along with advice on how to forge their own path.

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5 Empowering Quotes From BET’s ‘Black Girls Rock’ Honorees  was originally published on

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