Justin Timberlake Shared An Important Message For Young People At The iHeartRadio Music Awards

Justin Timberlake gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “acceptance speech” on Sunday night at the iHeartRadio Music Awards when he shared an inspiring message during his Song of the Year win — for none other than the feel-good “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls.

After recognizing his fellow nominees (especially the Chainsmokers’ “Closer”) and saying his thank-yous, Timberlake admitted, “I feel old sometimes, and this makes me feel really young again.”

Timberlake said he wrote “Can’t Stop the Feeling” as a song about “inclusion” and “being together,” and he went on to share some encouraging words for the young people watching:

IF YOU ARE BLACK OR YOU ARE BROWN OR YOU ARE GAY OR YOU ARE LESBIAN OR YOU ARE TRANS, OR MAYBE YOU’RE JUST A SISSY SINGING BOY FROM TENNESSEE, ANYONE THAT IS TREATING YOU UNKINDLY, IT’S ONLY BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OR THEY HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO BE AFRAID OF HOW IMPORTANT YOU ARE. BECAUSE BEING DIFFERENT MEANS YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE, SO FUCK ’EM.

Timberlake received applause from the audience throughout the message, which comes at a critical time, particularly for transgender youth. It’s not even the first speech Timberlake has used to inspire the younger generation. He sent a similar message of acceptance at last year’s Teen Choice Awards.

Watch Timberlake’s full acceptance speech in the video below:

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