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Adele praises influential women after being honoured at THR's Women in Entertainment gala

Adele paid homage to the many women – including her mother, grandmother and aunts – who helped shape her world and personality since she was a child.

The superstar singer then praised actor Kerry Washington and found herself in awe while in the presence of singer Dua Lipa after she received the prestigious Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment breakfast gala on Thursday (Dec 7). She was handed the award by Helen Mirren for excelling as a trailblazer and her philanthropy work in Hollywood.

“You are the absolute epitome of what it is to open doors and more importantly leave them open,” said Adele of Lansing, the first female to head a Hollywood studio. The singer has been a supporter of the LGBTQ and women rights, and associated with an organisation that helps provide clean water to countries in need.

In her speech, Adele expressed her gratitude toward Kerry Washington, who was earlier honoured with the Equity in Entertainment Award, which recognised her for amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry.

Actor Ariana DeBose, who presented Washington with the award, admired how the Scandal actor “squashed the traditional stereotype” of being a black woman in Hollywood.

“Every component of the career that (Washington) built, the empire that she has created speaks to equity,” said DeBose, who starred in the West Side Story. “How has she done that? By being herself and taking up space.”

Earlier, Will Ferrell lobbied for Washington to run for president.

“Please? We’ll pay you,” Ferrell said in jokingly pleas as the audience laughed. “We’ll do a GoFundMe right in this room, and we’ll launch you.”

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