Will Smith pays tribute to Jada Pinkett Smith at BET's 'Black Girls Rock'

Will Smith pays tribute to Jada Pinkett Smith at BET's 'Black Girls Rock'
Will Smith, right, presents an award to his wife Jada Pinkett Smith during a taping of the Black Girls Rock award ceremony at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, on March 28, 2015 in Newark, N.J. (Julio Cortez / AP)

Will Smith sweetly paid tribute to Jada Pinkett Smith, his wife of 20 years, during BET's "Black Girls Rock" special.

The show, which aired Sunday and honored black women, drew a star-studded audience that included First Lady Michelle Obama, Cicely Tyson, Ava DuVernay, Janelle Monae, Tracee Ellis Ross and more.


When the "Focus" actor took the stage to present his wife the Star Power Award, he went off script and spoke from the heart, recalling a story about lying in bed with his wife when he got a Google Alert saying TMZ reported that she'd filed for divorce from him. The retelling garnered several laughs before Smith got serious.

"In that brief moment my heart jumped for a second," the "Bad Boys" actor said. "And I started to imagine what my life would've been like without that woman, you know? And we've been together for 20 years and I started to think about all of the things that I watched this woman do."

The "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" alum recapped his journey with his wife, including meeting her during her "A Low Down Dirty Shame" days, seeing her career develop and welcoming their kids, Jaden and Willow.

"As I thought what my life would be like and what the world would be like without her it made me sad, and I'm just standing here today happy that TMZ had it wrong," the actor said.

"For living your dreams out loud, baby, for modeling an alternate way of being in this world, I present to you, along with BET, the Black Girls' Star Power Award. Baby, c'mon and get it!" he said.

Once she arrived onstage, Mr. Smith grabbed Mrs. Pinkett Smith's butt and gave the "Gotham" star a deep kiss. Pinkett Smith thanked him before turning her attention to the room of women being honored during the event, taped March 28 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

"I need you to understand [that] we are the women that marched from cotton fields into fields of medicine, politics, law, education, entertainment. We even found a way to march our way into the White House as the first lady of the United States of America," Pinkett Smith said, giving a nod to FLOTUS, who was seated right behind her in the audience.

"And I say 'we' because it is my belief that we do this together," she continued. "Any achievement that any woman makes is an achievement for us all. Any slight that any of us takes is a slight to us all and when we still have to read headlines in prominent magazines that the surge of people of color on TV may be too much of a good thing, we know we got a long way to go. But that's what makes this night right here special."

Pinkett Smith, 43, went on to say that they were celebrating "beauty," "magnificence" and "glory" at the event.

"We can validate each other and say you're enough as you are, because we are enough as we are," she said.

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