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BET Awards 2024: Most Memorable “Lifetime Achievement Award” Winners

Discover which Hollywood stars have claimed the prestigious award.

The BET Awards have long been a platform to honor the achievements and contributions of Black artists in music, film, and culture. Among the various accolades, the "Lifetime Achievement" award is a tribute to artists whose careers have left an indelible mark on the industry. 

At the BET Awards 2024, Usher was celebrated with the prestigious "Lifetime Achievemen Awardt" presented by legendary producers Babyface and L.A. Reid.

Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer, Summer Walker, Coco Jones, Chlöe, Tinashe, Teyana Taylor, Victoria Monet, and Latto took to the stage for a one-of-a-kind sultry tribute. They performed some of Usher’s biggest hits, like "You Don't Have To Call," "You Make Me Wanna," "Good Good," "There Goes My Baby," "Good Kisser," "Nice & Slow," "Bad Girl," "Yeah!" and more.

As we celebrate the BET Awards in all their glory, let’s look back at seven of the most memorable "Lifetime Achievement" award winners who have shaped the music industry and left an indelible mark on culture.

  • Whitney Houston

    Whitney Houston, often referred to as “The Voice,” was honored with the first-ever “Lifetime Achievement" trophy in 2001. Known for her powerful vocals and timeless hits like “I Will Always Love You,” Houston's influence on the music industry and her legacy continue to inspire generations of artists.

    The musical tribute included Christina Aguilera and Luther Vandross, who performed “Run to You” and “All the Woman That I Need,” respectively. 

  • Prince

    In 2010, the enigmatic and multi-talented Prince was celebrated with the prestigious honor. Known for his influential music, boundary-pushing performances, and unique style, Prince's legacy is one of creativity and fearless artistry.

  • James Brown

    The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, in 2003. 

    Jackson joined Brown on stage, paying homage to the Godfather of Soul with his signature dance moves and heartfelt respect. This momentous occasion brought together two legendary figures in music history.

  • Samuel L. Jackson

    Hollywood icon Samuel L. Jackson made history as the only non-musical act to receive the BET Awards “Lifetime Achievement Award” honor. 

    Recognized in 2016, the Pulp Fiction star’s contributions to cinema and his powerful presence on and off the screen have made an indelible mark, demonstrating the award's broad scope in celebrating outstanding achievements across the entertainment industry. 

    When Jackson took the stage to accept his award, he expressed his gratitude to God, remarking, “A young man who grew up in segregated Tennessee that nobody ever told I could be this. So, here I am and who you are, and thank God for that.”

  • Charlie Wilson

    Charlie Wilson, the former lead singer of The Gap Band, was honored in 2013. With a career that includes numerous solo hits and collaborations, Wilson's influence on R&B and soul music is profound.

    The musical tribute was a vibrant and soulful celebration of his illustrious career. The performance featured a star-studded lineup, including artists like Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and Pharrell Williams, who paid homage with renditions of Wilson's classic hits, including “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” “Outstanding” and more. 

  • Mary J. Blige

    Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, was honored in 2019. With a career that blends raw emotion and powerful vocals, Blige has been a voice for many and an inspiration for artists across genres.

    The songstress delivered a stunning musical tribute, bringing the audience to its feet. Performing a medley of her greatest hits, including “Real Love,” “No More Drama," and “Family Affair,” Blige showcased her powerful vocals and emotional depth. 

    Joined by special guests such as Lil' Kim and Method Man, the tribute celebrated her illustrious career and enduring influence on the music industry.

  • Usher

    Deservedly so, Usher received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at this year’s ceremony hosted by Taraji P. Henson live in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 30. 

    Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis presented the honor at the Peacock Theater after a tribute video highlighting Usher's 30-year career and his contributions as a singer, songwriter, and dancer. The video featured heartfelt messages from Toni Braxton, L.A. Reid, Janelle Monáe, Jermaine Dupri, Jennifer Hudson, Kevin Hart, and others.

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