Sheryl Lee Ralph Gives Musical Speech For Emmy Win

Musical appreciation. After winning her first Emmy, Sheryl Lee RalphThe big moment was celebrated with a song.

“I am an endangered species / but I sing no victim’s song,” Ralph, 65, began singing at the podium after winning for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Abbott ElementaryMonday, September 12, 2012. “I am a woman, I am an artist / And I know where my voice belongs!”

Before you get out there Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species,” the Sister Act 2The ABC sitcom’s costars helped the actress to the stage. She was obviously shocked after the presenters. Amy PoehlerAnd Seth MayersAnnounced that she had been nominated for her portrayal of the no-nonsense woman Barbara HowardOn the show. She was nominated for her first Emmy and is now the second Black woman to receive the honor.

Sheryl Lee Ralph
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“To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your [moment] couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like — this is what striving looks like,” she continued in her speech. “Don’t you ever, ever give up on you, because if you get a [costar like] Quinta Brunson in your corner, if you get a husband like mine in your corner, if you get children like mine in your corner, and if you’ve got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me … thank you!”

Ralph shared his story while he was walking down the red carpet. Entertainment TonightThe night was all about the actors and industry professionals who mentored her throughout her career.

Sheryl Lee Ralph Wins First Emmy Gives Musical Acceptance Speech

Sheryl Lee Ralph
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“It’s not as much about me but it’s being able to stand under these lights between the two of you,” the actress told the outlet. “That for me is the real change. That for me was all the choices that I made coming up in the industry, the things I didn’t do, the things that I chose to do, and to see it all come to fruition — not just me being here but seeing you both here in this position the way you are — that means everything.”

The However, Ray Donovan actress — who beat out Alex Borstein, Hannah Einbinder, Kate McKinnon, Sarah Niles, Juno Temple, Hannah WaddinghamAnd her costar Janelle James — continued by sharing how joyful she’s felt when other performers share how her work has inspired their journey in the industry.

“I take my service seriously, you know, even being vice president of the local Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA,” the Connecticut native stated to ET. “I take all of that seriously and I want people to get involved in our industry — don’t just think it’s all about shining in front of the camera, there’s so much work and so many details that take place behind the camera that truly affect how it is to survive or thrive in this industry. And right now, I’m thriving.”

Abbott ElementaryThe series premiered its first season in December 2021, and was picked up by CBS for season 2 in July. The series will return in September.