Jay-Z and Gloria Carter. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Jay-Z's mom Gloria Carter had no idea how much her duet with her son, 'Smile', would have on the LGBT community.

The 48-year-old rapper's mother collected the Special Recognition Award at New York's 2018 GLAAD Media Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel on Sunday night, where she opened up about their duet 'Smile' and how it has "inspired" other members of the LGBT community to tell their story.

Gloria revealed she identifies as a lesbian when she duetted with her son on the track - which appeared on his latest album '4:44' - in which the pair celebrate her sexuality, and revealed what it was like to keep quiet for the sake of Gloria's brood.

Speaking to PEOPLE magazine at the ceremony, Gloria admitted: "I didn't realise how we touched so many lives. 

"I'm just glad that I can inspire people."

After collecting her award, Gloria gave a speech where she thanked her family for their support and her partner for setting her "free from the shadows". 

She said: "I accept it with pride and joy on behalf of my son and myself. 

"Thanks to my family for loving me unconditionally, no matter what. Thanks to my partner, for loving me and helping me free myself from being in the shadows...

"My life wasn't horrible, I chose to protect my family from ignorance. 

"I was happy but I was not free."