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Lady Gaga, who collaborated with Beyonce on 2010 hit single Telephone, said, "You are so much more than just a pop star or an icon; you represent the dream," Bono stated, "She makes songs that will live forever," and Stevie Wonder mused, "Beyonce has made history and she's not even 30 yet."

But it was the touching tribute from her mom that trumped all the big names.

Knowles said, "I can remember when she was a kid and she saw Whitney Houston and she said, 'One day I'm gonna do that,' and I was like, 'Yeah baby, OK, that's really nice...' But one day I was actually at the Super Bowl and she was performing the National Anthem and I just cried because it was unbelievable that she had done so many of the things that she said that she'd do."

Streisand then added, "Great performers have a sound and style that is all their own and that is why so many people love Beyonce - and so do!"

Obama had the final word, stating, "I'm very proud of her, I'm very proud of the woman that she is, the role model that she provides to so many women."

Beyonce then showed why she is worthy of all the high praise by performing her new track Run The World (Girls), first with a synchronised backdrop and then with an army of female dancers. The stunning set earned her a standing ovation.

Her mom took the stage with Beyonce's nephew Julez, who declared, "I love you Beyonce," to present the award to the R&B superstar.

Sweaty and out of breath, Beyonce told her mother she is "a phenomenal woman". She also thanked her father, ex-Destiny's Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams and namechecked the "original members" of the girl band.

She then smiled as she thanked her "best friend," adding, "I love me some Jay-Z" as her proud husband smiled and nodded his head from the audience.