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Rihanna’s Mom Presents Her With the First-Ever Icon Award at the 2013 AMAs: “I’m So Proud of You”

Rihanna and her mom
Rihanna's mom got emotional while presenting the "Diamonds" singer with the first-ever AMA Icon Award Lester Cohen/WireImage

A family affair! The 2013 American Music Awards were chock full of A-list music stars, show-stopping performances, and flashy red carpet fashion. But one of the best moments of the night occurred when Rihanna accepted the first-ever Icon Award — presented to her by her very own mom, Monica Braithwaite.

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After a rousing rendition of her hit song “Diamonds,” the 25-year-old singer was joined onstage by her mother. “Rihanna, I’m so proud of you tonight,” Braithwaite began, visibly emotional. “I know the journey in your career has not always been an easy one, but tonight I applaud you and admire you for being so strong and so positive and so humble and so focused.”

She continued: “It’s amazing how you always manage to take good from all your experiences. I’m so blessed to be a part of this historic moment. I just want to say how proud I am to present to you the first-ever AMA Icon Award.”

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Rihanna owes at least part of that honor to her mother, who has supported her career since the very beginning. “Just about 20 years ago is when I really started making your life a living hell [with] my annoying little husky man voice, you call it,” the singer quipped, turning to look at her mom. “I annoyed every one of my neighbors.” 

Rihanna AMA Awards
Rihanna and mother Monica Braithwaite Fenty onstage during the 2013 American Music Awards. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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She went on to tell a story about how she had to beg Braithwaite to let her audition. “I thank you — we all thank you — for that yes,” she said. “Because that was the beginning of it all.”

Later, accepting the award for Best Male R&B/Soul Artist, Justin Timberlake gave a shout-out to Rihanna and her mother. “Can we talk about how cute Rihanna’s mom is?” the “Mirrors” crooner said in an aside. “Rihanna’s mom is so cute. She’s so proud.”

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