The BET Honors… What Excellence Looks Like!
The BET Honors awards show aired Monday, February 23rd and it was the most elegant and inspirational award show of the season. Host Wayne Brady opened the show with a grand and hilarious old school hip hop performance inspired by RUN-DMC and featuring his rendition of Rob Bases’ “It takes two” and Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It.”
The night was filled with uplifting and encouraging acceptance speeches. The first black woman President of Bennett and Spelman Colleges and the current Director of the Smithsonian’s Museum of African Art Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole reminded us that education is the key to dismantling injustice in the world. Kanye West, yes Kanye West, after a comedy filled rant about his wife, Kanye also delivered one of the nights’ most encouraging messages. West said, “When you have the chance to express your influence, don’t just do it for our race, do it for the human race!”
What stood out the most in this awards show were the presenters of each award. All of the presenters were people who had inspired the honorees along their journey. Usher’s God-Father, Legendary entertainer Ben Vereen started the presentation to Usher by describing him as a ‘song and dance man and ultimate entertainer.’ But it was one of his icons Bobby Brown that brought Usher to tears and shocked the audience by coming on stage and presenting him with his actual award.
Glynn Turman began the tribute to Phylicia Rashad and her TV children, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Malcolm Jamal Warner saluted her via video along with her sister Debbie Allen and Broadway alum Audra McDonald. It was TV’s first black Mother, star of “Julia” Diahann Carroll who received a standing ovation when she graced the stage to give Phylicia Rashad her award.
Musical tributes included Ne-Yo, Trey Songz (performing Usher’s ‘Nice and Slow’) and K. Michelle giving a beautiful performance of her new hit ‘Judge Me.’ All of the performances were fantastic but the show stopping performances of the night came from Patti LaBelle with the Howard University and Spelman choirs and the Queen of Hip-Hop Mary J. Blige. Mary J. closed the program with a soul-stirring performance of her hit song “Doubt” from the CD “London Sessions” CD. As she sang, images of inspirational African Americans played in the background. A perfect song choice for this inspirational awards show.
Here’s a list of the honorees and their awards…
- Johnnetta Betsch Cole – Excellence in Education Award
- John W. Thompson – Excellence in Technology and Business Award
- Kanye West – Visionary Award
- Usher Raymond IV – Musical Arts Award
- Phylicia Rashad – Theatrical Arts Award
The theme of this awards show was ‘education is the key.’ Wayne Brady wrapped the evening with his own inspirational message. “Look in the mirror and be the best person you can be and that’s what extraordinary feels like.”
Catch the encore presentation Thursday February 26th @ 8pm. Click here for more information on the wonderful achievements of the honorees.