Adele and actor Kerry Washington were honored at this year’s Women in Entertainment gala, presented by Lifetime.
On Thursday, December 7, Hollywood’s leading ladies gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California to celebrate influential women during the return of THR’s annual Women in Entertainment event, presented by Lifetime.
Adele, who received the prestigious Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at the gala breakfast, paid tribute in her speech to the many women – including her mother, grandmother and aunts – who helped shape her world and her personality since she was a child.
The superstar singer then praised actor Kerry Washington, who received the Equity in Entertainment Award, and shared her emotional moment after meeting the singer. Dua Lipa.
“I finally got to meet Dua Lipa!” Adele said in her speech. “A little surprised. I absolutely love it. Fellow Londoner.”
Previous winners of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award include Oprah Winfrey, Meryl StreepViola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston and Barbra Streisand.
Adele’s frank speech
Adele received the award from Helen Mirren for distinguishing herself as a pioneer and for her philanthropic work in Hollywood.
Oscar winner Mirren applauded Adele for her musicianship, recalling the moment she felt a “chill” down her spine when she first heard the singer’s debut single “Hometown Glory”.
“That thrill comes only a few times in your life when you realize you’re listening to a brilliant, groundbreaking new artist,” Mirren said of Adele, a 16-time Grammy winner who has also collected an Oscar and an Emmy during her acclaimed career .
Adele’s lightning-fast speech, which involved several F-bombs, drew laughter and applause from the audience.
She teased the event’s early timing: “It’s an absolute honor to be here today in full glam f*****g at 8 in the morning.”
She also explained how the women in her family shaped her into the person she is today through their rambunctious and strong characters.
“They are a force to be reckoned with and frankly terrifying. But it was because they had to be,” the singer said.
“They had to learn the hard way what it means to be a woman. In turn, they hardened. Their character was their armor. But thanks to them my character is my skin.”
Who else received an award?
Actor Kerry Washington received the Equity in Entertainment Award, recognizing her for amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry.
Actress Ariana DeBose, who presented the award to Washington, admired how the “Scandal” actor “crushed the traditional stereotype” of being a black woman in Hollywood.
“Every component of the career that (Washington) has built, the empire that he has created speaks to equity,” said DeBose, who starred in “West Side Story.” “How did she do it? By being herself and taking up space.”
Previously, Will Ferrell had lobbied for Washington to run for president.
“Please? We’ll pay you,” Ferrell said jokingly as the audience laughed. “We’re going to do a GoFundMe right in this room and launch you.”
Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello, Billie Lourd and Lily Gladstone have presented four full-time scholarships to Chapman University and Loyola Marymount as part of THR’s Women in Entertainment mentorship program.
More than $1 million in college scholarships have been given to high school seniors from underserved communities in Los Angeles.
Video editor • Theo Farrant