Beyoncé paid homage to a high-profile music executive being honoured at a charity event to raise money for cancer research.
The singer’s vocals soared as she performed three ballads including her 2009 smash hit Halo and Ava Maria after saluting the character of Warner/Chappell Music Publishing CEO Jon Platt at the City of Hope gala near Los Angeles on Thursday night.
She took the stage following her husband, Jay-Z, who presented Platt with the Spirit of Life award during a charity event that raised more than $6m.
“Most people lead with their ego, but you lead with your heart,” Beyoncé said Platt, who will soon be leaving his position at Warner/Chappell to take on the top role at Sony/ATV, the top publishing company in the music business.
“You have touched so many lives, mine included,” she added.
From the start of the evening to @Beyonce's closing performance at the end, the 2018 City of Hope Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Spirit of Life gala was a night to remember. #SpiritofLife18 pic.twitter.com/0ENIG85A6g
— City of Hope (@cityofhope) October 12, 2018
Jay-Z called Platt the “Obama of the music industry.” The music executive is known for signing publishing deals with Jay-Z, Usher, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. His roster of songwriters at Warner/Chappell includes Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars and Timbaland.
Both Beyoncé and Jay-Z appeared at the black-tie charity event after the couple wrapped up their On The Run II tour about a week ago.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than my brother, Jon Platt,” Jay-Z told more than 1 000 attendees. “He’s known as ‘Big Jon’ and he has a beautiful soul.”
City of Hope is a treatment centre for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases raising more than $118m in the group’s 45-years. The award is the group’s highest honour recognising those that have helped further music, film and entertainment.
Previous Spirit of Life award recipients include Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Irving Azoff and Mo Ostin.
Music mogul Diddy, singer Usher, former NBA player Chauncey Billups and some of Platt’s family members took part in a video dedicated to the music executive. Platt’s oldest son, Jonathan Platt, was diagnosed with diabetes.
Platt shed tears while talking about his friendship with Jay-Z, thanking the rapper for coming into his life.
“As an African-American, I want to say that we’re more than just athletes and music artists. … We’re CEOs,” Platt said.