Jay-Z: I ‘Cried, I Was So Happy’ After My Mother Came Out
The title of Jay-Z's "Smile" is no happy accident — he says that the joy he felt when his mother, Gloria Carter, came out as a lesbian was so intense, he cried.
In a new clip from a forthcoming April 6 interview with David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on Netflix, Jay recalls the moment — eight months ago — when Carter told him she was gay. He said he was instantly inspired to record "Smile."
“Imagine having lived your life for someone else," Jay says in the preview. "And you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn’t want to embarrass her kids, and you know, for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone.’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”
Jay adds he "knew" about his mother's secret long before she told him, but that having the explicit conversation was a different experience.
"And the first time I heard her say she loved her partner. Like, ‘I feel like I love somebody.’ She said, ‘I feel like,’" he remembers. "She held that little bit back, still. She didn’t say, ‘I’m in love,’ she said, ‘I feel like I love someone.’ And I just, I cried. I don’t even believe in crying because you’re happy. I don’t even know what that is. What is that?”
Stars Who Bravely Came Out: