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Sheryl Lee Ralph celebrated her historic win at the 2022 Emmy Awards by breaking out into song during her acceptance speech.
On Monday night, Ralph took home the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series trophy for her role in Abbott Elementary. The win means Ralph is only the second Black woman to land an Emmy in the category after Jackée Harry, who won for 227 in 1987.
Ralph took to the stage where she was handed the award from presenters Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers. Ralph then surprised everybody when she burst into song a rendition of jazz singer Diane Reeves’ 1993 song “Endangered Species.”
“I am an endangered species, but I sing no victim song,” she sang. “I am a woman, I am an artist, and I know where my voice belongs.”
Her incredible vocal performance earned Ralph a standing ovation from the crowd and thousands of tweets of admiration from viewers at home.
“To anyone who has ever ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t wouldn’t couldn’t come true I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like. This is what striving looks like, and don’t you ever, ever give up on you,” the award-winning actress said on stage.
“Because if you get a Quinta Brunson, if you get a husband like mine in your corner,” Ralph continued. “If you get children like mine in your corner, and if you’ve got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Brunson, the show’s creator, nabbed wins for outstanding leading actress and a writing nomination for the pilot.