Jay-Z has opened up about the moment his mother came out to him as gay, saying he cried with happiness.
In a new episode of the Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction hosted by David Letterman, the rap mogul told the talk show veteran he'd known his mother was gay for some time, but they discussed it for the first time eight months ago.
"Imagine having to live your life for someone else and you think you're protecting your kids," the '99 Problems' hitmaker said.
"I really cried. That's a real story, I cried because I was so happy she was free."
Jay-Z's mother Gloria Carter features on the track 'Smile' off the album 4:44.
He said he wrote the song the day after she came out to him.
"Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian/ Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian/ Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take," he raps on the track.
"Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don't matter to me if it's a him or her / I just wanna see you smile through all the hate / Marie Antoinette, baby, let 'em eat cake."
Gloria Carter also recalled the emotional conversation during an interview with Rolling Stone in September.
"Me and my son share a lot of information, so I was sitting there and I was telling him one day, I just finally started telling him who I was," she said.
"So my son actually started tearing, because he was like, 'That had to be a horrible life, Ma.' And I was like, 'My life was never horrible, it was just different.' So that made him want to do a song about it."