Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Receives Lifetime Honor at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With a speech about his own inspiring dream for the black community, Sean “Diddy” Combs channeled the spirit of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. while accepting the BET Awards’ highest honor on Sunday night.

After Combs received his Lifetime Achievement Award, the music mogul said God put a special message in his heart to make his “new dream” come true. He received the award from Babyface and Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), who called Combs his “favorite artist” growing up.

“I had this dream of black people being free,” Combs said, with Babyface and Ye standing behind him at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. “I had this dream of us controlling our own destiny. I have this dream of us taking responsibility and stopping killing each other. I had this dream of us being rich and rich and that we live in the same neighborhood. I have this dream of uniting us.

The BET Awards celebrate the contributions people of color have made to entertainment, highlighting winners in 19 categories, including film and sports.

Doja Cat, Drake and Ari Lennox entered the awards with the most nominations, but came away with no trophies. Silk Sonic – formed by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak – won two awards including album of the year for their project ‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’.

The show’s Oscar-nominated host, Taraji P. Henson, said Combs’ influence was “big on the culture.”

During Combs’ speech, he paid tribute to the late Andre Harrell, who launched his career, as well as his mother for working multiple jobs as a child and the late Kim Porter, his longtime girlfriend and mother of his three children.

“I miss you so much Kim,” Combs said. Earlier, in a star-studded tribute performance to Combs, he dedicated an emotional video montage to Porter. The nostalgic tribute included appearances from Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes, Jodeci, Shyne and Faith Evans.

Combs founded Bad Boy Records and is a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top artists including Notorious BIG, Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Evans and 112. He created the line of fashion clothing called Sean John, launched Revolt TV focuses on music and has its own vodka. He also produced the reality show “Making the Band” for MTV.

In 2004, the rapper-producer played Walter Lee Younger in the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” which aired as a television adaptation four years later. He also appeared in films such as “Get Him to the Greek” and “Monster’s Ball”.

Past recipients of the award include Prince, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Samuel L. Jackson, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker and New Edition.

Babyface and Ye both called Combs a “legend”.

“This man has been through and survived a lot and kicked down a lot of doors so that we can stand – I know for myself that I can be here today,” Ye said, wearing a black face covering. “He broke down so many doors of classism, taste, culture, swag.”

Combs’ honor came the same night when other top stars used the BET Awards to strongly criticize the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strip women’s constitutional abortion protections.

Henson took the stage as the show’s host with an uplifting message about “black excellence” before launching into the court’s overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade last week. The actor took to the stage after Lizzo opened the show with a flute solo in a shimmering gold outfit performing his single “About Damn Time.”

“It is high time we talked about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman. It’s a sad day in America,” Henson said. She thanked Lizzo, who, along with ticket seller and concert promotion company Live Nation, recently donated $1 million in tour revenue to Planned Parenthood.

Grammy-nominated singer Janelle Monae raised her middle finger to the Supreme Court before presenting the nominees for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist.

“These artists make art on our own terms, own our truths, and speak freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and control our bodies, my body and our decisions, my body,” said the singer, who also paid tribute. to the LGBTQ+ community. “F— you the Supreme Court. I know we are celebrating each other right now, as it should be. We absolutely deserve to celebrate – especially now, we should be celebrating our art by protecting our rights and our truths.

Afterwards, Monae featured Grammy winner Jazmine Sullivan as the winner of the category – which appealed to men for their support of women.

“It’s a tough time for us,” Sullivan said. “I want to speak directly to the men: we need you all. We need you all to stand up, stand up for us, support us. If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the most difficult decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be on your feet. It’s not just a woman’s issue. It’s everyone’s business. We need your support more than ever. »

Latto gave an emotional speech after winning the Best New Artist award.

“It’s giving a pro choice,” said the rapper, who then performed her hit “Big Energy” with Mariah Carey. “It’s never given to a man to watch over my body.”

Singer Tems dedicated her Best International Actor award to the many women who “dare to dream”.

“Where I’m from, things like this don’t happen,” said the Lagos, Nigeria-born singer, who won Best Collaboration with Justin Bieber and Wizkid for their song “Essence.” “It’s a dream. If you look at me, I want you to imagine yourself as me because you’re supposed to be here too.

Jack Harlow performed “Poison” alongside Lil Wayne before Brandy took the stage with him for his hit “First Class.” As Harlow and Brandy performed, the camera cut to her brother, Ray J, who was seen dancing in the audience.

Chance the Rapper and Joey Bada$$ performed “The Highs & the Lows”. In her pink dress, Muni Long opened her set with a snippet of “Time Machine” ahead of her “Hrs & Hrs” jam.

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