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Bad Bunny Won GLAAD Media’s 2023 Vanguard Award, Explaining His Mission To ‘Give And Receive Love’

The 34th annual GLAAD Media Awards was held in Beverly Hills, California on Thursday, March 30. Bad Bunny, Christina Aguilera, and Jeremy Pope were among those honored. Jennifer Coolidge even made a surprise appearance.

Is an awards show really an awards show if Bad Bunny isn’t there? It increasingly feels like the answer is no, and he was recognized at the GLAAD Awards for using his ubiquitous platform to uplift the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Puerto Rican megastar was presented the Vanguard Award by Ricky Martin, who praised Benito as “the most-streamed artist in history is loudly standing with trans women and the entire community” while letting “LGBTQ people dance, sing, love, and live lives authentically” (as relayed by The Hollywood Reporter).

THR also translated Bad Bunny’s acceptance speech from Spanish to English:

“I always say I don’t do anything expecting an award. I don’t do music for an award, I don’t do videos, my appearance [for an award]. I do everything because of how I feel and that’s all I have done. I believe that following my heart has led me to where I am, following my heart has brought me here receiving this award, surrounded by such beautiful people. I believe that when you have a good heart and you give love, that’s what you receive back, and that’s what I’ve wanted to do all this time with my music, with what I represent, with my space, with my concerts, with my shows, with all I do. That’s all I want to do. Give and receive love.”

Aguilera was given GLAAD’s Advocate For Change Award, and Pope received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. When the honorees were revealed in early February, Variety reported that Aguilera has “helped raise over $500 million toward HIV research with MAC cosmetics,” and GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis explained why Bad Bunny deserved to be this year’s Vanguard recipient.

“Bad Bunny uses his role as one of the world’s most popular music artists to boldly shine a light on LGBTQ people and issues, including transgender equality and ending violence against trans women of color,” Ellis said. “By consistently advocating for our community, elevating our stories, and demanding action from anti-LGBTQ leaders, Bad Bunny redefines the positive influence Latin music artists can have within the LGBTQ community, and has set an example for all artists.”

Previous GLAAD Vanguard recipients include Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Cher, and Janet Jackson.

Watch Bad Bunny’s acceptance speech above, and check out footage from the event below.