Pop star Britney Spears will receive the Vanguard Award at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 12. The honor is given to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBT people. Past recipients include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, and Janet Jackson.
Spears has been a vocal ally to the LGBT community, involving herself in Spirit Day campaigns, participating in the GLAAD music video for “Hands” that honored Pulse victims, and joined open letters opposing bathroom bills in Texas. She’s helped gay fans celebrate their weddings, and even gave support to a young gay man considering suicide.
“I have a secret to share with you,” Spears wrote to LBGT fans as part of Billboard magazine’s Pride feature. You see it’s actually you that lifts me up. The unwavering loyalty. The lack of judgment. The unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”
Calling Spears a “irrefutable icon,” GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis praised the performer for speaking out on the issues, including the Dream Act. “She is a force in the music world who has used her global platform to share messages of love and acceptance, something that the world needs today more than ever.”
A total of 141 Media Award nominees in 25 English-language and Spanish categories were announced in January, including films like Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, Battle of the Sexes, A Fantastic Woman,, TV shows RuPaul’s Drag Race, This is Us and Andi Mack, musicians Halsey, Kesha and Kehlani, and media outlets like HuffPost, Teen Vogue, and CNN en Español.
For a full list of nominees, and for ticket information, visit the GLAAD Media Awards website