Jamie Foxx gave an emotional speech while accepting the Vanguard Award at the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Cinema & Television: Honoring Black, Latino and AAPI Achievements.
The actor/singer was hospitalized in April after suffering an unspecified “medical complication” and has kept a relatively low profile since then.
Foxx was honored for his performance in Amazon Prime Video’s The Burial, which was presented to him by co-star Jurnee Smollett, and briefly choked up as he reflected on his health scare.
“I want to thank everybody. I’ve been through something. I’ve been through some things. You know, it’s crazy, I couldn’t do that six months ago. I couldn’t actually walk,” he said, holding back tears.
Foxx then lightened the mood a little by addressing the rumors that he had been “cloned.”
“And I’m not a clone,” he joked, getting a laugh from the audience. “I know a lot of people was saying I was cloned out there… Boy, y’all ain’t shit.”
The 55-year-old later said he saw “the tunnel” during his near-death experience before cracking some more jokes.
“It feels good to be here. I cherish every single minute now. It’s different,” he added. “I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy ’cause it’s tough when you almost… when it’s almost over, when you see the tunnel.
“I saw the tunnel. I didn’t see the light! It was hot in that tunnel so I didn’t know where I was going. ‘Shit, am I going to the right place?’”
He continued: “I seen the devil going, ‘C’mon, now.’ Black people, when we almost die or go through something like that, there’s two phrases, one of two phrases we say. One is, ‘Lord, have mercy, Jesus. Lord, have mercy, Jesus.’
“I want to say six months ago I couldn’t fathom that this could happen or that I would be here, but as I walk up here to this microphone and get this Vanguard Award, all I can say is ‘Lord, have mercy, Jesus.’”
Jamie Foxx made his first public appearance following his hospitalization in July, with TMZ obtaining footage of the actor waving at a crowd from his yacht on the Chicago River.
In his first video address since the incident later that month, Foxx said he “went to hell and back.”
“First of all, I want to say thank you to everybody that just prayed man, and sent me messages,” he began. “I cannot even begin to tell you how far it took me and how it brought me back. I know a lot of people were waiting or wanting to hear updates, but to be honest with you, I just didn’t want you to see me like that man.
“I didn’t want you to see me with tubes running out of me and trying to figure out if I was gonna make it through. […] I went to hell and back [and] my road to recovery had some potholes as well. Some people said I was blind, but as you can see, the eyes are working just fine.”