BET will present it’s inaugural celebration of The BET Honors at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 12, hosted by comedian Cedric the Entertainer. The awards show will be premiered on BET, Friday, February 22 at 8 p.m. and will include performances and/or appearances by Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Gladys Knight, Wyclef Jean, Jill Scott, Brian McKnight, Ne-Yo, Raheem DeVaughn, Blair Underwood, Danny Glover, Kerry Washington, Idris Elba, Hill Harper and Vivica A. Fox.
The night kicked off with R&B queen Jill Scott’s powerful rendition of “The Real Thing” to honor Dr. Cornel West, University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, who received the Award for Education. Hill Harper of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was on hand to present Dr. West with his award.
Wyclef Jean got the audience on their feet during his performances of “The Sweetest Girl” and “Bad Mama Jama,” and Idris Elba of The Wire spoke about the trailblazing media mogul Tyra Banks, who was recognized for her contributions in Media. Next up came Vivica A. Fox and Brian McKnight, who honored CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd for the Entrepreneur Award with “Win” and “Back at One.”
Dirty Sexy Money star Blair Underwood introduced Entertainment Award honoree Alicia Keys, who was left speechless by Stevie Wonder’s jaw-dropping performance of “Ebony Eyes” and “As.” Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons was presented with the Corporate Citizen Award by Danny Glover, and John Legend paid tribute to Parsons with crowd favorites “Ordinary People” and “We’re a Winner.” Gladys Knight then performed “The Need to Be” and “(Just My) Imagination” to honor The Honorable Maxine Waters (Public Service Award), who was presented with her award by Kerry Washington.