Solange Knowles is the first recipient of the award, which recognizes artists who create a social impact through activism

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Solange Knowles is opening up about a dark time in her life.

On Friday night, the musician was honored with the inaugural Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact, which recognizes artists who make a difference through activism. During her acceptance speech, Knowles honored the award’s namesake, The Wiz actress and singer Lena Horne, and spoke about experiencing a recent period of “fear.”

Detailing how Friday night marked the significance of her latest album, When I Get Home, Knowles, 33, said, “This album marked a colossal pivot moment in my life that I’m still in the thick of the lessons today,” adding that the record came out around the time that her “life changed drastically.”

“So suddenly there came a great, great fear,” she continued. “Fear of the unknown, fear of trust, fear of love, fear of silence, fear of having to confront things and pain that I have buried too deep, deep inside. It was easy for me to show up and be the unstoppable woman for everyone else, but terrifying for me to be that woman for myself.”

Solange Knowles
Solange Knowles
| Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Variety/Shutterstock

The singer added: “My mother made me feel a little less afraid during those days and brought home to me. She came over every day for a few weeks to cook me okra and brown rice and cornbread with her little book of prayers. My beautiful hometown and neighborhood of Third Ward Houston held me … My dear friends, all of which are here tonight. They lifted me so high with so much love and so much hope. Checking on me daily, coming over to my house just to lay and laugh with me.”

“This award means the absolute most to me because the love that I feel in this room feels just like the love of the people that I just named who held me,” the sister of Beyoncé said. “It is an extension of and feels like my mother and my sister’s and my friends’ love, the love that inspires me the most. I will hold this close and deep to my heart forever and ever. Gratitude doesn’t even seem like a large enough word.”

Solange Knowles
Solange Knowles
| Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock

In November, Knowles announced her separation from husband Alan Ferguson.

“11 years ago I met a phenomenal man who changed every existence of my life,” the musician wrote on Instagram. “Early this year we separated and parted ways, (and tho it ain’t nan no body business ?) I find it necessary to protect the sacredness of my personal truth and to live in it fully just as I have before and will continue to do.”

Knowles and Ferguson wed in New Orleans on Nov. 16, 2014, during a ceremony and reception that was attended by her sister Beyoncé, brother-in-law JAY-Z and mother Tina Knowles. Solange is a mom to 15-year-old son Julez with ex-husband Daniel Smith.

The mom of one also revealed in December 2017 that she was being treated for an autonomic disorder, which affects a part of the nervous system.

“The past 2 years have brought me more physical and spiritual transition and evolution than ever before my body left me with no choice but to listen and be still within that stillness I begin my journey in confronting my worst enemy, fear,” Knowles described in the November Instagram statement.