The 34-year-old singer was supported by husband Jay Z and four-year-old daughter Blue Ivy as she was presented with the prestigious gong at the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Awards.

Beyonce made a late arrival with her family, including mother Tina Knowles, just minutes after it was announced she would be receiving the award. The Formation singer looked stunning in a sparkling Givenchy suit and wide-brimmed hat as she was presented with the gong by CFDA President Diane Von Furstenberg, who called her "today's biggest superstar".

Beyonce then kicked off a highly emotional speech, in which she spoke of her long standing relationship with fashion.

"As long as I can remember, fashion has always been a part of my life,” she said. "Its effect on me actually started before I was born. Most of you guys don’t know this, but my grandmother was a seamstress."

Beyonce's grandmother passed down her sewing skills to her daughter Tina, who then used these talents to create ensembles for Destiny's Child in the early days of their success.

It was the singer's memories of Tina's influence on her career that saw the 62-year-old struggling to control her emotions.

"When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels, they didn’t want to dress four black, country, curvy girls," Beyonce continued. "And we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams.

"(My mother and her uncle Johnny) designed all of our first costumes and made each piece by hand … putting so much passion and love into every small detail. When I wore these clothes on stage I felt like (Game of Thrones character) Khaleesi; I had an extra suit of armour. It was so much deeper than any brand name."

Beyonce concluded her speech with a dedication to her family, thanking them for shaping her into the woman she is today. She also told the audience that she was hopeful that others would follow in her footsteps by recognising the responsibility famous faces have to make fashion accessible for all.

"To my mother, my uncle and to my grandma, thank y’all," she smiled. "Thank you for showing me that having a presence is far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for showing me to never take no for an answer. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard, and live life on my own terms.

"We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard and magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no colour, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work it goes far beyond what the eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, to embrace their complications and see the true beauty

"To show people how to embrace their complications and see the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award, I’ll never forget this night, and God bless y’all."

Other stars to attend the event included Lena Dunham and her Girls co-stars, Olivia Wilde, who showed off her blossoming baby bump in a cut-out gown, and designer Rachel Roy.

Roy had been linked to Beyonce and Jay Z earlier this year upon the release of the singer's album Lemonade, in which she appeared to reference her spouse's alleged infidelity by referring to "Becky with the good hair". Fans were quick to speculate on Becky's identity, with Roy's name soon thrown into the mix. She denied the claims, but Monday night marked the first time she had attended an event alongside Beyonce and Jay Z.