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Shawn Carter Foundation Gala

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

Gloria Carter, Jay-Z’s mother, married her longtime partner in front of a star-studded crowd of guests.

According to HipHopDX, Carter walked down the aisle with Roxanne Wilshire Sunday night (July 2) in New York City. The “99 Problems” rapper and entrepreneur was in attendance front and center with Carter’s daughter-in-law, Beyoncé. The pair were part of a glamorous guest list, which included actress and singer Kelly Rowland, Tyler Perry, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, talent manager Corey Gamble (sans girlfriend Kris Jenner) and Tina Knowles. The ceremony and the reception reportedly lasted well into the night.

The wedding is another momentous step in Gloria Carter’s journey, which Jay-Z shed light on in the track “Smile” from 4:44, released in 2017. Initially, she wasn’t too pleased with the track according to Jay-Z in an interview on The Shop in 2021. “It changed the dynamic of our relationship,” he shared. But she and her son talked and understood how vital the message in the song was for people to have a better understanding of the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Living in the shadows feels like the safe place to be. No harm for them, no harm for me. But life is short, and it’s time to be free. Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed,” Carter said in the song about being a lesbian and the difficulties she faced.

Ms. Carter related the story while at the 29th GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards in 2018. She was there to accept the Special Recognition award given to “Smile” on behalf of her son and introduced by Robin Roberts. She went into detail about her hesitancy about the situation and how meeting Wilshire was a moment that helped her change her stance.

“Here I am. I’m loving. I’m respectful. I’m productive and I’m a human being who has a right to love who I love,” she said to close the moving speech. “So everybody — just smile, be free. Thank you and God bless.”