Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West on hand for Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs ‘BET Awards 2022’ tribute

Combs received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual BET Awards ceremony.

One of the annual BET Awards highlights is the lifetime achievement award, and the yearly ceremony has certainly seen its fair share of significant moments. From pop star Michael Jackson presenting the award to hero James Brown to Stevie Wonder and Prince leading a celebration for Chaka Khan, these unforgettable moments and performances are ones that viewers usually look forward to before honorees receive their award. 

At the “BET Awards 2022,” Sean “Diddy” Combs was chosen as the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree and the moment did not disappoint. The music and entertainment mogul, who launched the careers of many R&B and hip-hop stars and contributed production on countless hits, received a celebration fit for a king. 

The tribute opened with an Uptown Records banner descending and hanging over the stage, signifying Combs’ days as an A&R executive at the label. Jodeci performed its iconic Combs-produced remix to “Come and Talk to Me,” then Mary J. Blige came out singing “I’m Going Down.” 

From there, Combs appeared on stage clad in black with the Bad Boy Entertainment logo behind him, performing the opening verse to his 1997 hit, “Victory.” At that point, Shyne, current Leader of the Opposition in Belize and former Bad Boy artist, emerged to rap his signature hit, “Bad Boyz,” as the Belize flag was briefly projected behind him. Next, The Lox and Lil Kim came out with Combs to perform the hip-hop smash, “All About the Benjamins.” 

The energy reached a high point with the appearance of Busta Rhymes. He and Combs performed the Neptunes-produced 2003 hit, “Pass the Courvoisier,” reworked as “Pass the Ciroc this way.”

After that high-energy moment, the mood shifted, beginning with Combs performing a brief portion of his new single, “Gotta Move On,” featuring Bryson Tiller. Then the lights went down to be followed by a video montage featuring the late Kim Porter — Combs’ former partner and mother of three of his children. In the video, Porter congratulated him for a past award. It also featured special moments from their life together. Combs then dedicated his 1997 No. 1 hit, “I’ll Be Missing You,” to Porter’s memory. 

Presenting the trophy to Combs was Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who spoke of Combs’ relentless pursuit of success. “He made me believe that I could do anything and that I could go anywhere,” Edmonds said. “That’s the sign of a great producer.” 

Kanye West appeared as a surprise to honor Combs for his lifelong inspiration to West. “Back then, there were so many rules to hip-hop, and he broke all of them,” West said. “I go to him for advice to this day.” 

When Combs came on stage to accept his award, he spent most of his speech thanking all the essential people in his life, starting with his mother. He also thanked his Uptown Records boss and mentor, the late Andre Harrell, as well as the late Heavy D — who helped him secure his internship with Uptown Records — and the late Notorious B.I.G., whom he called “the greatest, period.”

In thanking Porter, Combs said, “I just miss Kim, y’all.” He also thanked his former girlfriend Cassie “for holding me down in the dark times.”

He ended his speech by announcing $1 million in donations to his alma mater, Howard University, and also Jackson State University. 

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