Solange Knowles, Rep. Maxine Waters and others honored at BET's Black Girls Rock awards

Issa Rae arrives at the "Black Girls Rock!" awards in New York on August 5, 2017. (Derrick Salters/

Singer Solange Knowles, actress Yara Shahidi, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters and music icon Roberta Flack were among the stars celebrated on Saturday at the 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards.

Beyonce's little sister was celebrated with the Rock Star accolade, which she branded "the ultimate honor", while "Black-ish" star Yara, who is heading to Harvard University, was recognized with the Young, Gifted And Black prize.

The Star Power title went to comedienne Issa Rae, as U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters was applauded as a Social Humanitarian, and Roberta was praised as a Living Legend.

The "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" singer appeared at the New Jersey ceremony in a wheelchair, but delivered a rousing acceptance speech as she shared a few words of wisdom with younger generations.

"Celebrate your successes," Roberta told the audience. "Learn through your mistakes. Be grateful forgive and persevere. I always say and I've always said, somewhere in my comment to other people love is a song. Love is a song. Each of you has a song in your heart and you keep singing that song, whatever that looks like."

She was also saluted with a duet by India Arie and Tyrese Gibson, who teamed up to perform a rendition of her Donny Hathaway collaboration "Where Is the Love."

Other artists to hit the stage during the show, which celebrates the achievements of black women, included singers Anthony Hamilton and SZA.

The ceremony, hosted by actress Taraji P. Henson, will air in the U.S. on the BET network on August 22.

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