SAWEETIE proudly put her Filipino and Black heritage on display at the 2021 Met Gala, where the theme was “American Independence.”
The “Icy Girl” rapper on Monday, September 13, stunned everyone on the red carpet wearing a rose-colored Christian Cowan gown with an iridescent train split in two panels. One panel had the colors black and red to represent the Black American heritage flag, while the other panel had red, yellow, blue, and white for the Philippine flag.
“My cape represents the Black American heritage flag and the Filipino flag,” Saweetie told ET Online.
She added, “‘Cause I’m Black and Filipino, and that’s what makes me an American girl.”
Saweetie also took to Instagram to share her gown that featured 10 million hand-embellished crystals, saying: “Proud of my heritage!”
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Saweetie, whose real name is Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper, was born to an African American father and Filipina-Chinese mother.
In a recent interview with the Asian Journal, the rapper said her mother reminded her to speak up about her background and culture.
“I remember my mom telling me that it’s important for me to share my heritage, to share my culture. So anytime that it makes sense, I do let people know that I am half-Filipina,” she said.
In 2017, she went viral after posting a video on Instagram. The freestyle video later became “Icy Grl,” prompting a label bidding war that ended with Saweetie signing a deal with Warner Records.
Since her fame, she has released chart-topping hits including 2020’s “Tap In” and “Back to the Streets” as well as “Best Friend” with Doja Cat this year.
She also launched a nonprofit, The Icy Baby Foundation, with her grandmother to support single mothers, low-income communities, education efforts, and people living with autism.
“Money beats court cases, money buys medicine, money fixes potholes, money puts food on the counter, and money keeps the heat and electricity going,” said Saweetie.
“So if I can spread the wealth, that’s what I want to do,” she added.
The Met Gala, chaired by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, is a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s return required proof of vaccination from its over 300 attendees.