"I'm not nervous," said Women That Soar awards recipient Zainab Salbi. "I'm grateful."
Salbi was one of seven women honored Saturday night at the Statler Hotel in downtown Dallas.
Grateful was a word many of the people who walked the red carpet at the awards taping used. That includes host Tyra Banks and Common, who presented the global activism award to Jaha Dukureh after turning his song "The Day Women Took Over" into a rousing spoken-word anthem.
"It feels so good to be here and hosting," said the entrepreneur-model-host-producer. "I've always stood for female empowerment and celebrating women and encouraging them. So this is that times 100, I think."
In between musical performances, each honoree was introduced via a short film about them. Some of the women came from as far away as West Africa, such as Nana Amoaka. She got the Mentorship Award.
Fantasia performed twice, with an especially affecting performance of "I Believe" that turned the ballroom into a praise center. Kris Allen, another American Idol alum, also performed. Jekalyn Carr's "You Will Win" was fitting for a night of empowerment. Also performing were RaeLynn, Britney Holmes, Stokley and Ash Minor (finalist on The Four).
Many of the honored women expressed that what they do is not for awards, but that they were grateful for the recognition the award would bring to their various causes.
Dallasite Gina Grant founded the awards in 2007. The Women That Soar Awards will be broadcast across 65 stations in March, which is also Women's History Month.