Jay-Z was overcome with emotion when his mother revealed she is gay for the first time.
The hip-hop star — who raps about his mom, Gloria, coming out on his 2017 song “Smile” — says he already knew his mother’s secret before she told him, but was moved to tears when they finally spoke about it.
“This was the first time we had the conversation, and the first time I heard her say she loved her partner,” Jay-Z tells David Letterman in an episode of Netflix’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” premiering Friday.
“Like, ‘I feel like I love somebody.’ She said, ‘I feel like.’ She held that little bit back, still,” the rapper continued. “She didn’t say, ‘I’m in love,’ she said, ‘I feel like I love someone.’ And I just, I cried. I don’t even believe in crying because you’re happy. I don’t even know what that is.”
Jay-Z, 47, wrote “Smile” one day after he and his mother had the conversation eight months ago.
In the song, he raps about his emotional response to hearing his mother’s truth and the struggles his mother went through to hide her sexuality — points he further expounds on during his interview with Letterman.
“Imagine having lived your life as someone else,” he told the host. “And you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and like protect her kids, and didn’t want to embarrass her kids.
“For her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone.’ I mean, I really cried,” Jay-Z said. “That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”
Gloria also chronicles her journey in a spoken-word portion of “Smile,” which appeared on her sons critically acclaimed “4:44” album.
Beyonce shared a sweet photo of herself with daughter Blue Ivy on her website.
“The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free. But you live with the fear of just being me … But life is short, and it’s time to be free,” she says. Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”
Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — is the latest big-name star to appear on Letterman’s new interview show, which launched in January.
Former President Barack Obama, actor George Clooney and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai were the first three guests.
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