Obama honors Chance The Rapper at BET Awards, rapper inspires with speech


On Sunday night, Chance the Rapper was honored with the Humanitarian Award at the 2017 BET Awards, but when BET President Debra Lee was about to bring him onstage to accept the award, she had "one more surprise from a very special lady" before Michelle Obama appeared on the screen.

"Thanks so much, Debra, and hello, BET family," Obama said. "Barack and I are so sorry that we can't be there tonight in person, but please know that we are with you in spirit and we are so incredibly proud of you, Chance."

She went on to say that she and former president Barack Obama share Chicago roots with Chance and "have known Chance and his family since he was a wee little baby rapper, and it has been a thrill watching him come into his own in so many ways."

"In addition to making some really amazing music, Chance has been taking that big, bright spotlight that follows him around and he's shining it on young people in our hometown of Chicago," Obama continued. "Time and again he has been standing up, speaking out and doing the work to get kids in our community the education they deserve. And with these passionate efforts, Chance is showing our young people that they matter. That they have something inside of them that is worthy of being expressed, and that they have so much to contribute to their communities and to our country."

See photos from the 2017 BET Awards:

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BET Awards: Red carpet arrivals
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BET Awards: Red carpet arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Amber Rose at the 2017 BET Awards at Staples Center on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Blac Chyna at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Blac Chyna (C), fashion detail, at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
One hot mama! Jada Pinkett Smith showed off her incredibly figure in a gold gown with a thigh-hight slit and a down-to-there neckline. Talk about a sexy red carpet style! REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
TV personality and actress La La Anthony was a vision in a gold, sparkling dress, which she paired with diamond statement earrings. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Queen Latifah kept things simple in a classic, off-the-shoulder, black dress with a set of pumps. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
'Orange Is the New Black" star Dascha Polanco punched things up on the fashion front in an all-white suit with an embellished shoulder. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
BET Awards host Leslie Jones wowed in a jewel-toned dress with a sexy neckline. She polished off the stunning look with a set of heels and bright magenta lips. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: (L-R) DJ Khaled, Nicole Tuck, and Asahd Tuck Khaled at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Big Sean at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
Remy looked lovely in a fringe-focused dress with several shades of blue. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
2017 BET Awards ? Arrivals ? Los Angeles, California, U.S., 25/06/2017 - Yara Shahidi. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Karrueche Tran attends the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
2017 BET Awards ? Arrivals ? Los Angeles, California, U.S., 25/06/2017 - French Montana. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Actress Issa Rae attends the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
2017 BET Awards ? Arrivals ? Los Angeles, California, U.S., 25/06/2017 - Actress Skai Jackson. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
2017 BET Awards ? Arrivals ? Los Angeles, California, U.S., 25/06/2017 - Ty Dolla Sign. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
2017 BET Awards ? Arrivals ? Los Angeles, California, U.S., 25/06/2017 - Kat Graham. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Whoa! This ensemble from Justine Skye had us do a double take with a nude corset underneath a sparkling sheath. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
"Community" star Yvette Nicole Brown looked stunning in a bright, patterned frock with leather accessories. (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Shaun Ross turned heads in his military-inspired look. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Fat Joe at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Marsai Martin was sweet as can be in a striped dress in orange heels. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Lil Mama was a total knockout in a blush-colored gown with a thigh-high slit and a plunging neckline. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Actress Nafessa Williams had plenty of people doing a double-take with this racy and sparkling look. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Actress Garcelle Beauvais showed off her mile-long legs in a sparkling minidress with dramatic sleeves.  (AFP PHOTO / CHRIS DELMAS (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
LeToya Luckett put some serious flower power into her leggy look at the BET Awards. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Tammy Rivera took the plunge in a white blouse and classic slacks. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
B.J. Britt kept it casual and cool with a set of kick and a T-shirt. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dreezy definitely turned heads in a bizarre black and gold ensemble. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Sierra McClain went for a modern suit-dress with a set of strappy sandals. (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Cardi B put on an eye--popping display in a red suit with a low neckline. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Pop singer LaTina Webb put her best foot forward in a minidress and a matching set of heels. (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Goapele wowed with a bright pink dress and a set of leopard print shoes. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
Terri Seymour showed off her incredible physique in a sparkling, black dress with a set of thin sandals. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
 Pearl Thusi showed off quite a bit of leg as she walked down the red carpet. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Sibley Scoles was pretty as can be in a simple black dress. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Demetria McKinney opted for a fashion-forward look with a sheer panel along the bottom and left sleeve. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Angel put together an eclectic but cool look for the BET Awards. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Ryan Destiny brought back the 90s with her jeans and leather look. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Lateysha Grace was electric in a bright blue dress with red heels. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok TEMPLATE OUT
Zonnique Pullins rocked a skintight jumpsuit that was very snakelike and sexy. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Lovie Simone was a standout in an all-white dress with ruffles and sparkling embellishments. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
"The Color Purple's" Margaret Avery, 73, was absolutely stunnin in a bright, strapless dress with a statement necklace and ruffle shoes. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Musician Jessie Reyez was a little bit punk and a little bit pretty with her LBD and boots. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
South African star Nomzamo Mbatha was gorgeous in a traditional pattern dress with a form0fitting silhouette. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Chike Okonkwo was sexy and suave in a bright blue suit with a statement shirt. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Logan Browning stepped out at the BET Awards in a pink, feathery frock. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Summer Valentine took a different stance on the LBD with a black, sequined jumpsuit. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Rapper Nasty C hit the gray carpet in a set of jeans and a rooster T-shirt. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Sasha Banks was a modern-day Ariel with her bright purple locks and a green, lace dress. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
Rayvanny stepped out in a bright blue tuxedo with cropped slacks and loafers. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
"Black-ish" star Yara Shahidi hit the BET Awards in a denim dress with a fun set of hels. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Sandra Lambeck took a very cool fashion risk with a set of white slacks and yellow heels. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Rokhaya at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Nikki Perkins was pretty as can be in an evergreen, velvet dress with a jaw-dropping neckline and a thigh-high slit. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Chloe Bailey (L) and Halle Bailey at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
"The Vampire Diaries" actress Kat Graham was a knockout in a dress with double keyholes in the front. The cool pattern and her slick locks made it a total winner.  (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
2017 BET Awards ? Arrivals ? Los Angeles, California, U.S., 25/06/2017 - Actress Eva Marcille. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough dazzled in a metallic dress with matching sandles. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Kid Ink (top) and daughter Aislin Parvaneh Collins at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Sandi McCree at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Brittany O'Grady opted for a spring-like look with a fun jumpsuit. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Ta'Rhonda Jones at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Ajiona Alexus at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
DJ Spinall looked like a class act in a green, velvet jacket and a fun hat. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Caleb McLaughlin at the 2017 BET Awards at Staples Center on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Roman GianArthur at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Deon Cole at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Algee Smith at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Duckie Thot at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Tank (L) and Zena Foster at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Bobby V at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Lovie Simone at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Camryn Howard at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Lil Rel Howery at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Zonnique at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Lena Waithe at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Duckie Thot, Nikki Perkins and Sandra Lambeck at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Demetrius Shipp Jr. at the 2017 BET Awards at Staples Center on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Teo (L) and Ayo of Ayo & Teo at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Logan Browning at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Mack Wilds at the 2017 BET Awards at Staples Center on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Jennie Jenkins at the 2017 BET Awards at Staples Center on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: DJ Spinall at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Trevor Jackson at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Kara McCullough at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Kodie Shane at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Brittany O'Grady at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Chris Brown's ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran put together a pretty purple look with an off-the-shoulder silhouette . (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
Former "America's Top Model" star Eva Marcille looked absolutely exquisite in a white, off-the-shoulder dress and long locks. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Chairman and CEO of BET Networks Debra L. Lee at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Bryshere Y. Gray at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Lady Leshurr at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Draya Michele at the 2017 BET Awards at Staples Center on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: El DeBarge at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Lorna Baez at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Kristina Adamski at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Kap G at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Jacob Latimore at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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"Chance, you are an outstanding role model, and an inspiration to all of us who care about our next generation. Because of you, countless young people will grow up believing in themselves, fulfilling their God-given potential and then reaching back and lifting up other people along the way."

As for Chance himself, he said that he felt the moment was "wildly overwhelming."

"I had plans originally to try and tell the world and everybody watching how to make it a better place, to tell everybody in this government that y'all need to let everybody out of jail for selling weed before y'all start making it legal for people to sell it and make capital off it," he said as the audience burst into applause. "I was going to tell the Chicago public school system not to take out a loan from Chase Bank when they know our schools are planning on failing in the district."

"...But we have to work on ourselves before we can work on the world," he added. "So I want to be better father to Kinsley. I want to spend more time with her. I want to be better big cousin."

He added that he had plans to expand his activism beyond just Chicago: "I want to travel overseas and help out people all over the world."

"Being 24, getting something like this, it doesn't feel deserved yet, but like I said, my God is putting the pressure on me so I can become who I'm supposed to be," he said. "I'm a good man, and I'm going to become a better man."

RELATED: See Michelle Obama's style:

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Michelle Obama's most fashionable moments
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Michelle Obama's most fashionable moments
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: First lady Michelle Obama (2R) waves standing with (L-R) Carolyn Reed of Denver, Colorado, Astrid Muhammad of North Carolina, Anthony Mendez of Bronx, New York and Dr. Jill Biden prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech before members of Congress of the U.S. Capitol January 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama was expected to lay out a broad agenda including attempts to address income inequality and making it easier for Americans to afford college education and child care. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Washington, DC - January 24: First Lady Michelle Obama waves to acknowledge applause as she joins her guests before President Barack Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress while delivering his State of the Union speech, on January, 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama acknowledges applause pruior to US President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court on January 25, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Rita Ora speak onstage at TNT Christmas in Washington 2014 at the National Building Museum on December 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. 25248_001_0620.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
US first lady Michelle Obama (L) and US President Barack Obama arrive for an event in the East Room of the White House December 7, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama and the first lady welcomed recipients of the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors to the White House to celebrate their contributions to the arts. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive for a reception at the White House for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. The honorees this year include: opera singer Martina Arroyo, jazz musician Herbie Hancock, musician Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and musician Carlos Santana. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama and US President Barack Obama arrive during an event in the East Room of the White House December 2, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and US first lady Michelle Obama attended the event at the White House with the 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees before to celebrate their contribution to the arts before heading to the Kennedy Center for the honors program. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington, DC - December, 4: Guests arrive at the Kennedy Center for tonights honors awards with President Obama in attendance on December, 04, 2011 in Washington, DC. Pictured, First Lady Michelle Obama, right, and President Barack Obama, arrive in the Presidential box and greet the honorees including Yo Yo Ma, second left, and Meryl Streep, left. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama pose with French President Francois Hollande as he arrives for the State Dinner at the North Portico of the White House on February 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: First Lady Michelle Obama speaks onstage at the The Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award luncheon at The Grammy Museum on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama onstage at the LULAC/NUVOtv Unity Luncheon With Jennifer Lopez at New York Hilton Midtown on July 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NUVOtv)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 6: From left, first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and their daughters Sasha and Malia, wave to the crowd following the President's speech at the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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