MC Lyte was honoured at the BET Hip-Hop Awards on Saturday (28Sep13) for paving the way for female rappers.
The 42 year old, who was the first woman to release a full-length rap album in 1988, was handed the I Am Hip-Hop Award by rapper Eve at the event at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Georgia.
Eve told the star-studded crowd, "She set the precedent for female freestylers. I'm truly, truly honoured. She has meant so much to me in my career."
Fellow female rap veteran Queen Latifah recorded a video message praising MC Lyte, as did superstar couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Accepting her prize, Lyte, real name Lana Michelle Moorer, said, "Please keep the dream alive, I am with you."
Other winners including Drake, who was named the People's Champ. The full list of award recipients will be revealed when the prizegiving is broadcast in the U.S. on 5 October (13).
Kendrick Lamar took to the stage to perform a four-minute freestyle rap, while Montana, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony also played.
Snoop Dogg hosted the ceremony.