Last night VH1 paid tribute to the reigning queens of hip-hop. After a six-year break, the televised awards show honoured the industry’s greats like Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, Lil Kim and Salt-N-Pepa and featured A-list winners and presenters like Michelle Obama, Kelly Rowland, and Ashanti.

“In challenging times, our music heals us, unites us and uplifts us,” Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, said while opening the show. “Black activists are fighting to build a world where all forms of violence — in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas — are no more. A world where Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile might still be alive.”

The ceremony, suitably labelled “All Hail the Queens,” featured performances by Fantasia, Monica, Teyana Taylor, Lil Mama, Remy Ma, and Eve.

“Women been hip-hop, women are hip-hop, and women will always be hip-hop,” Eve told the crowd.

“There’s no way that I can allow us to be erased from the history of hip-hop,” Queen Latifah declared.

While the queens of hip-hop gathered in New York, Gabby Douglas was preparing for her second Olympics coming up this summer in Rio. The gold medalist has a lot to celebrate already – she was officially given her own Barbie complete with gymnast attire.

gabby douglas barbie“I’m so excited. My older sister and I used to play with Barbies and create these dramatic fantasy stories, so it’s such a huge honour,” the 20-year-old said, adding some words of wisdom for the kids who play with her doll. “Be yourself and really embrace your inner beauty and your true talent. Believe in yourself. Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something when you can.

Another star who has her own Barbie is Zendaya. The actress, who is currently on the cover of Essence magazine, doesn’t shy away from the responsibility of being a role model.

“You’ve got to realize those Twitter followers, those kids who watch you, that’s technically power. So, to me, I have a responsibility or a duty to the people who watch me to promote positive things, or to show them positive things, or to enlighten them,” she told the publication.

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