Lauryn Hill might have some tax problems, but that doesn’t mean she’s not still a beloved figure in the music industry. Beyonce made that clear at the BET Awards last night when she used her acceptance speech to stand up for the singer after a joke was made about her troubles with the IRS.

Mike Epps and Mindless Behavior were on stage to hand out the trophy for Best R&B artist when the comedian did a bit of singing. One of the guys from Mindless Behavior shot back that he was as bad as Lauryn Hill’s tax accountant, and the joke got a few laughs but also a smattering of gasps and whispers. Moments later, Beyonce was announced as the winner, and when she got on stage, she decided to dedicate her award to all the great women who came before her including Whitney Houston, Mary J Blige and, of course, Lauryn Hill.

According to TMZ, Beyonce was planning on going in a different direction with her speech, but when she heard the diss, she apparently decided to take the classy approach and thank Hill. Once off-stage, she reportedly told another woman she found the whole incident to be “disrespectful”.

Beyonce is a sweet and sophisticated lady. She’s always exuded intelligence and poise, and her speech was just another example of those attributes. Given the joke was more of a backhand than a straight on punch, it’s unlikely we’ll hear anything more about Mindless Behavior’s quip, but if we do, we’ll be sure to bring you the apology.

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