On Saturday night, Black Entertainment Television hosted their 3rd annual BET Honors ceremony at the Warner Theatre in Washington DC. The BET Honors, which was established in 2008, seeks to “celebrate the lives and achievements of African American luminaries” in an annual event that will be broadcast on BET during Black History Month. Here are a few photos from the red carpet arrivals Saturday night:
It should come as no surprise to learn that Whitney Houston, who is enjoying a pretty spectacular comeback these days, was honored at The BET Honors this weekend … after all, we saw photos of a crazy-lookin’ Whitney making her grand arrival in Washington DC late last week. After the jump, check out a few photos from the show itself and find out who was honored at The BET Honors this year and when the show will air on BET next month …
With the help of the entertainment industry’s finest, BET Networks honored distinguished African Americans performing at exceptional levels in their fields by presenting the third annual BET HONORS. Hosted by the beautiful and talented actress Gabrielle Union, this phenomenal show will premiere during Black History Month, on Monday, February 1 at 9:00 p.m. The 2010 honorees included legendary songstress Whitney Houston (Entertainment), multi-faceted entertainer Queen Latifah (Media), respected business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs (Entrepreneur), accomplished educator Dr. Ruth Simmons (Education), and world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black (Public Service). Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, India.Arie, ELEW and others will pay tribute to these phenomenal stars with riveting performances. BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee and the Honorable Mayor Adrian Fenty of Washington, D.C. welcomed the audience. Both Lee and Mayor Fenty called out to viewers and audience members alike to support relief efforts for those who were affected by the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. Lee also referenced BET’s own initiatives as part of the worldwide effort to aid Haiti. “Before this disaster, BET Networks, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, was set to donate thirty thousand dollars every month for a year to an organization that has dedicated itself to working towards a brighter future for the African American community,” said Lee in her remarks. “In light of the devastation in Haiti, BET plans to donate the first grant to immediate emergency relief in Haiti.” Following Lee’s remarks, Stevie Wonder, Trey Songz and India.Arie delivered a soulful rendition of the “Wake Up Everybody” in memory of the recent passing of soul-man extraordinaire, Teddy Pendergrass and his message of hope and commitment to the community. Queen Latifah, this year’s recipient of the BET Honor for Media, was presented with her award by the talented and always hilarious Taraji P. Henson, while R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan performed soul-stirring interpretations of “Unforgettable” and “Rock Steady.” Next, the powerhouse legend Patti Labelle performed “If Only You Knew.” Actor and comedian Chris Tucker then introduced the Public Service award honoree, neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, who was treated to an extraordinary performance of “Can’t Imagine Love Without You” by the iconic Stevie Wonder accompanied by Take 6. Hip-hop pioneer Andre Harrell presented his longtime friend Sean “Diddy” Combs with the Entrepreneur BET Honor. 2009 BET HONORS recipient Mary J. Blige performed a medley of her greatest hits “Love No Limit,” “I Love You,” and “Be Happy,” as a personal tribute to her mentor and friend. During his heartfelt acceptance speech, Diddy attributed his success to his mother’s tireless work ethic, also giving credit to the hip-hop community. BET Networks also paid tribute to Dr. Ruth Simmons (Public Service), who was presented with her award by veteran actress Victoria Rowell. It was followed by the moving performance by India.Arie, who was accompanied by pianist ELEW (Eric Lewis), with songs “Beautiful Flower” and “Someday We’ll All Be Free.” Lastly, Whitney Houston was on her feet for a surprise soul-rousing performance by one of her favorite artists, gospel great Kim Burrell singing “I Believe In You and Me.” And if that wasn’t enough, Jennifer Hudson brought the crowd to its feet singing Houston’s chart-topping “I Will Always Love You,” as she was presented with The BET Honor for Entertainment by Ne-Yo. Other highlights of the show included Trey Songz and Stevie Wonder’s medley of each other’s hits, “That Girl” and “Invented Sex,” as well as Ryan Leslie performing his latest single “I Choose You.” Maxwell also performed “Fist Full of Tears” and “Forgive Me.”
It should be clarified that The BET Honors are different than The BET Awards (which took place last June). The BET Honors annually celebrates a small number of honorees while The BET Awards honors a larger number of performers in many categories (much like the MTV Video Music Awards). Congrats goes out to this years BET Honors winners and make sure to tune in to BET on February 1 to see the show in action.