Jermaine Dupri is a what?! Mariah Carey, who was on hand to present the rapper and producer with a Humanitarian Award during PETA’s 40th anniversary virtual celebration on Saturday (Dec. 12) revealed that there was one fact about Dupri that she couldn’t quite swallow when she first learned about it.
“Now I’ve known Jermaine for a long time, and he’s one of a kind. Not only is he a genius at producing music, he’s also a vocal animal rights advocate,” the superstar began before presenting her pal with the award. “I’m most proud to see how Jermaine has become a powerful voice in PETA’s vegan campaign — yes, he’s a vegan, it’s true! I didn’t believe him at first, but it is true! JD, keep doing what you do!”
The singer couldn’t help but throw her Lambs a little treat at the end of her presentation, offering up a little mention to one of her biggest hits: “Now all I want for Christmas is you … to have a great night!” teased Mimi before blowing kisses to viewers.
In his acceptance speech, Dupri shared that he’s been a vegan for more than 15 years. “I became vegan for my own health, but the longer I’ve been at it, the more it became about others — the animals, food justice for our community, the health of our planet.”
Iggy Pop was also a recipient of PETA’s Humanitarian Award. The punk rocker earlier in the year had donated his song “Free” for the animal rights organization to use in a video about how monkeys are tortured in lab experiments.
“If you’ve seen the video PETA made with my song ‘Free,’ I can tell you in the video you see some terrified, angry monkeys fighting for their lives, scared out of their minds, shackled; babies trying to wake up their drugged moms. You see some bad things,” he said. “But the feeling of the song was about that feeling because I sometimes have that feeling in my personal life — we all do.”
Added musician of receiving this latest award: “Once you reach a certain age, people start giving you lifetime achievement awards, which is nice and everything. I like this one — it means I’ve helped PETA fight back against abusers. that’s something I’m really proud of.”
Other musical acts who appeared during the virtual event to help celebrate PETA’s 40th anniversary include Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney, Belinda Carlisle, Chrissy Hynde, and many others.
Watch Carey, Dupri, and Pop speak during the celebration below: