It was a celebration! BET Honors aired last night and the evening was full of stars paying homage to exceptional public figures. Usher, Toni Braxton, and Fantasia were on-hand for some of the night’s biggest show-stoppers.
The event was actually filmed on Saturday (Mar. 12) at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. It was hosted by Arsenio Hall, who had plenty to talk about, including President Obama’s final term and presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s controversial campaign.
But the night’s honorees, the true stars of the evening, included the first African-American U.S. Attorney General Eric Holdner, music icon Patti LaBelle, Oscar-winning producer-director and creator of “Empire” Lee Daniels, famed record exec, producer, and CEO of Epic Records L.A. Reid, and business woman Mellody Hobson.
The honorees got love from the performers. Usher, for instance, paid homage to L.A. Reid in a smash-filled medley that included Bobby Brown’s “Roni” and “Rock Wit’cha.” “What an amazing career,” Usher said regarding Reid, before claiming that he would “let the music” explain Reid’s importance.
Toni Braxton (and her sisters), who opened the show, honored Reid while performing hits like “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” “Breathe Again,” “Seven Whole Days,” and “Un-Break My Heart.”
Meanwhile, Fantasia paid tribute to Patti LaBelle with a crowd-pleasing performance of “You Are My Friend.” LaBelle looked on with pride, celebrating Fantasia’s potent vocals.
Raheem DeVaughn and Jazmine Sullivan also showed up and showed out, honoring the memory of Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White. They rocked out to performances of “September” and “Shining Star.”
BET Honors is an annual celebration that pays tribute to distinguished leaders in the fields of music, education, entertainment, technology, and business. In the past, the show has honored stars like Halle Berry, Chaka Khan, Ice Cube, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee, and Mariah Carey. Last year’s event honored Kanye West, Usher, and Phylicia Rashad, among others.