Ricky Martin presents Britney Spears with the Vanguard Award at 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles

April 13, 2018

Grammy Award-winning global icon Britney Spears received GLAAD's Vanguard Award at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 12. The honor was presented by Ricky Martin, recipient of the Vito Russo Award in 2011 and, more recently, the award for Outstanding Music Artist (Spanish Language) in 2016. He spoke of the commonalities between him and Britney, including both of their successful Las Vegas residencies. The event will air exclusively on Logo on April 18, 11pm ET/PT.

While presenting the Vanguard Award, Ricky Martin acknowledged the role GLAAD played in his own inspirational coming out story after becoming a father to twins Matteo and Valentino. “It was not easy,” he expressed, “but I met GLAAD, and I’m so grateful they were there to help me come out.” He then turned the spotlight to Spears, praising her for her allyship to the LGBTQ community, and the success she has obtained as both an entertainer and a mother.

Britney’s support was highlighted in the presentation, including her participation in showing support for LGBTQ youth by going Purple for Spirit Day, appearing on “Hands”, GLAAD’s song to benefit the victims of Pulse, and more. During Pride Month 2017, she penned an open letter to the community for Billboard. She wrote, “It’s actually you that lifts me up. The unwavering loyalty. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”

Britney Spears took to the stage to accept her Vanguard Award, and talk about acceptance:

"To be accepted unconditionally and to be able to express yourself as an individual through art is such a blessing. Events like this show the world that we are not alone. We can all join hands together and know that we are all beautiful."

The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Patricia Arquette, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, and Sharon Stone.

Britney Spears is a Grammy-Award winning performer and longtime ally to the LGBTQ community. She has taken many opportunities to show support for her LGBTQ fans as they have supported her for the duration of her career. Spears has expressed how proud she is to be an ally, and plans to continue being a voice in tandem with the many voices in the LGBTQ community fighting for equality.

She has also shown her support for Dreamers – undocumented immigrants who have arrived in the United States under the age of 18 – by urging her fans to tell Congress to pass the Dream Act.

“An irrefutable icon, Britney Spears has entertained the world while also embodying the spirit of GLAAD’s Vanguard Award by speaking out on significant issues that face her fans – from the Dream Act to anti-transgender bills in Texas,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.  “She is a force in the music world who has used her global platform to share messages of love and acceptance, something that the world needs today more than ever.”

The 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, and Wells Fargo. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBTQ community and issues that build support for equality and acceptance.