Justin Timberlake really made us ’90s babies proud last night!
The former boy-bander, current pop star and father was presented with the decade award at the 2016 Teen Choice Awards on Sunday (July 31). Timberlake received the honor for his constant evolution as an artist and for the 10-year anniversary of his platinum album FutureSex/LoveSounds.
As basketball star Kobe Bryant presented Timberlake with his monumental surfboard —his 23rd Teen Choice Award of his career — JT delivered a poignant, funny and reflective acceptance speech, which was transcribed by Billboard.
“My parents did their best to fill my young mind not with prejudice or hate but with compassion and love. I think it’s part of the reason why to this day I try to live my life working closely with, making music with and spending so much of my time with an amazing group of people: male, female, straight, gay, every walk of life … People who help each other and find a common ground,” said Justin.
Continued the singer: “So, message: to all you teens out there, I ask you to not learn from my example, but from the example of all the greats that have come before me. For me, a big moment growing up was when I discovered that there was a music legend living right down the street from me, the Reverend Al Green, who taught the world a lesson that resonates now, I think, more than ever: let’s stay together.”
Timberlake even made reference to his newest job, fatherhood, in his acceptance speech as a way to show kids that getting through obstacles is important and necessary for achieving what you want in life. In fact, he hopes his son, Silas Randall, gets to watch his speech one day in admiration of his dear old dad.
“So, as a relatively new dad and a former teen, I’m here to say you will make mistakes along the way. You will fall down. I have many times. Even Ali did. But what we do after that fall is how we make history because impossible is nothing,” said Timberlake referencing late boxing legend Muhammad Ali. “So don’t waste your 20s. They’re gonna be here before you know it, and they will go fast. Be nice to your parents. (I hope my son watches this one day.) They aren’t perfect, either, but they have been through this movie before, and they love you more than you can imagine. So go out, do the impossible and just go on and become the greatest generation yet.”