Jay-Z's mom Gloria Carter didn't ''realise'' the impact her coming out song would have on other people.

The 48-year-old rapper's parent collected the Special Recognition Award at New York's 2018 GLAAD Media Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel on Sunday night (06.05.18), where she opened up about their duet 'Smile' and how it has ''inspired'' other members of the LGBT community to tell their story.

Gloria revealed she identifies as a lesbian when she duetted with her son on the track - which appeared on his latest album '4:44' - in which the pair celebrate her sexuality, and revealed what it was like to keep quiet for the sake of Gloria's brood.

Speaking to PEOPLE magazine at the ceremony, Gloria admitted: ''I didn't realise how we touched so many lives.

''I'm just glad that I can inspire people.''

After collecting her award, Gloria gave a speech where she thanked her family for their support and her partner for setting her ''free from the shadows''.

She said: ''I accept it with pride and joy on behalf of my son and myself.

''Thanks to my family for loving me unconditionally, no matter what. Thanks to my partner, for loving me and helping me free myself from being in the shadows.

''Thanks to you, to all the people whose lives I touched, for your support, by just telling my truth.''

Gloria added that she wanted to protect her brood ''from ignorance'' by keeping her sexuality a secret for so many years and insisted that it wasn't ''horrible'' not being out, but she didn't feel ''free''.

She continued: '''Smile' became a reality because I shared with my son who I am.

''Not that people didn't know; I was just someone they didn't talk about but they loved me anyway.

''But for me, this was the first time that I spoke to anyone about who I really am.

''My son cried and said, 'It must have been horrible to live that way for so long.'''

''My life wasn't horrible, I chose to protect my family from ignorance.

''I was happy but I was not free.''

The 'Encore' hitmaker - who has six-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, and 10-month-old twins Rumi and Sir with his wife Beyonce - previously admitted he ''really cried'' when his mother came out to him, as he was ''so happy for her''.