Chance the Rapper Makes History at iHeartRadio Music Awards

(Last Updated On: March 14, 2018)

Chance the Rapper accepts the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Innovator Award during the fifth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 11, 2018 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Photo Credit: Wes and Alex of iHeartRadio

Chance the Rapper made history at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards, becoming the 5th recipient of the iHeartRadio Music Innovator Award. The 24-year-old rapper received the award to celebrate and honor his accomplishments as an independent artist as well as his astonishing works within his community.

The prestigeous award was presented to Chance by artist Pharrell Williams, a former recipient of the award. Chance the Rapper (Chancellor Bennett) used his acceptance speech to thank those who helped pave the way for him to achieve success as an independent artist. Ray Charles, Prince, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé were a few names of many that Chance called as his influences and the pavers for music to be streamed online.

I didn’t invent independence in any way.” Chance said. “I didn’t innovate this idea. I’m following behind a lot of people and it takes a lot more of us to coming together as artists to regain our control and power as we should have it.

Chance’s third mixtape, “Coloring Book” is the first streaming-only album to be both nominated for a Grammy and to win. The artist also made history by winning 3 Grammy awards in 2017, including Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance.

Chance, a Chicago native, used his fame and money to help give back to his community. In 2017, Chance helped donate $2.2 million to the arts and enrichment programs for the Chicago public schools system. Chance has also been involved in Chicago’s politics and has been an advocate against gun violence within the community.

As a testament to his level of success in the music and entertainment industry, Chance joins previous iHeartRadio Innovator Award recipients Bruno Mars, U2, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell Williams.

Check out Chance’s award acceptance speech here.

About the Author: Kenneth Ray Oliver Jr. is a Fall 2017 graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, with a degree in corporate communications and minor in psychology. Kenneth desires to work as a freelance writer as well as an editor. While at Lamar, Kenneth wrote numerous articles for the University Press newspaper, and participated in numerous organizations. His proudest achievement was becoming a member of Gamma Phi Delta Christian Fraternity Incorporated. During his three years as a brother of Gamma Phi Delta, Kenneth actively served as chapter President, Vice President, Treasurer, Historian, and Secretary. He was also involved in the Lamar Cardinal Activities Board, Lamar NAACP. Lamar Black Students Association, the Club Rugby Team, and the Lamar Lions Club. Born in Missouri City, Texas, Kenneth is a 2012 Thurgood Marshall High School graduate. During his spare time, he enjoys volunteering at animal shelters, habitat for humanity, homeless shelters, and anywhere that he can help others in need. Kenneth has a passion for working with children, being a camp counselor for two summers and refereeing sports games. He also enjoys playing sports, traveling, listening to music, being outdoors, and writing, Kenneth recently started his own blog called “The Truth Is”. The blog is for Kenneth to express his truths and to encourage as well as empower others to live in their own truth. For more information about Kenneth, you can contact him at

Chance the Rapper Makes History at iHeartRadio Music Awards