“Black-ish” co-stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross were back for a second time around as the program’s hosts.
Performers included Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Alicia Keys, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Young Thug, Alicia Keys, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, French Montana, Desiigner, Tori Kelly, Future, Bilal, Bryson Tiller, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Sheila E., and Janelle Monáe.
But the highlight of the night? The big bang? The heart stopping, tear inducing, beautiful tribute from Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Sheila E, and Janelle Monae who joined forces for a highly anticipated “Celebration of Prince” tribute to commemorate the death of the legendary music icon. And I have to say Jennifer Hudson had me standing straight up out of my seat! What a performance.
And Sheila E’s performance? Beyond epic. Words can’t even… just watch.
Maxwell then brings down the house starting off with his new song “Lake by the Ocean” and pays tribute to Prince by singing “Nothing Compares 2 U.”.
There was also a beautiful tribute for the fabulous Muhammad Ali, who died earlier this month, by his daughter Laila Ali and Jamie Foxx.
After getting a standing ovation, Laila Ali stood in front of a photo of her father holding her as an infant and talked about her father’s evolution in his heart, mind and spirit over the course of his lifetime.
“These past few weeks my father’s generosity and love has been matched by a worldwide outpouring of love and reverence for him and our entire family,” Ali said.
Other show highlights included actor Samuel L. Jackson receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to Hollywood, and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams received the Humanitarian Award who gave a speech that knocked EVERYONE’S socks off. <drop the mic>.
Talk about some seriously star studded A-List presenters! Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Morris Chestnut, the cast of the forthcoming New Edition biopic movie, Taraji P. Henson, DJ Khaled, Snoop Dogg, Birdman, Jermaine Dupri and Birth of a Nation star Nate Parker announced the night’s top winners. Star power people!
I just can’t get over how much Prince really touched the world. All these musicians singing with all their heart and soul paying tribute to this man. One person can change the world. I miss you Purple man. BET got your tribute right.