BET Awards '20: Beyoncé Receives Humanitarian Award; Tributes To Kobe Bryant And Little Richard

BET Awards '20: Beyoncé Receives Humanitarian Award; Tributes To Kobe Bryant And Little Richard

D-Nice, Timbaland, and Swizz Beatz will also receive special honors.

Published June 25th

Written by BET Staff

New York, NY – (June 25, 2020) – Today BET Networks announces new additions to the line-up of the 20th Annual BET Awards, honoring prolific activists in the Black community and recognizing those who unfortunately left us in 2020. The world endured incredible losses this year including NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Little Richard. In memoriam of those great losses, Grammy Award-Winning Global icon and superstar Lil’ Wayne will give tribute to Kobe Bryant and the multitalented Wayne Brady will honor Little Richard.   

BET Network also announces Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will be honored with the prestigious Humanitarian Award at the 20th annual "BET Awards."

A global phenomenon, Beyoncé is one of the most successful artists to date, with over 100 million records sold worldwide, numerous awards, including 24 Grammys, and a catalog of timeless music. Along with her illustrious music career, she has acted in several films including DreamgirlsCadillac Records, and most recently Disney's The Lion King, which became the highest-grossing animated film of all time. On top of her numerous successes, Beyoncé is also a philanthropist who has created several initiatives to give back to the world at large.

In 2017, as a part of her BeyGOOD initiative, Beyoncé established “Formation Scholars,” to encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident. The scholarship awarded  students from four colleges.  That year, she partnered with UNICEF to create ‘BeyGood4Burundi.’ This multi-year partnership was established to bring safe water and sanitation to the small, landlocked East African country of Burundi. In 2018 she created the Homecoming Scholars Award Program, following her historic performance at Coachella, which benefited students at eight HBCU colleges and universities.

And recently, in response to the pandemic, Beyoncé teamed up with her mother, Ms. Tina Knowles Lawson, for the #IDIDMYPART mobile testing initiative to encourage residents in Houston in Black and brown communities, disproportionately affected by COVID-19, to know their status. She has also donated to support organizations on the ground helping to meet basic health and mental needs in vulnerable communities, affected by the crisis. For Juneteenth, following the release of her latest song, “Black Parade,” Beyoncé announced the creation of BeyGOOD’s Black Business Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses.

Additionally, the 20th Annual BET Awards is proud to honor Nicolas JohnsonTimbaland, Swizz Beatz, and D-Nice as the 2020 Shine A Light Honorees, which recognizes exceptional resilience, ingenuity and creativity in the face of adversity. This year's honorees demonstrate how art and education can unite and inspire even during the most challenging of times. Assa Traoré, a French anti-racist activist, has been selected as the 2020 BET International Global Good recipient, which recognizes global celebrities and public figures who use their platform for social responsibility and goodness while demonstrating a commitment to the welfare of the global black community. 

Previously announced celebrities including Congresswoman Maxine Waters, along with leading entertainers Billy Porter, Courtney B. Vance, Debbie Allen, Deon ColeLaTanya Richardson JacksonLa La AnthonyLena WaitheLizzo, Michael B. JordanMisty Copeland, Naomi Campbell, Omari HardwickQuavoQuincy JonesRapsody, Regina Hall, Samuel L. JacksonSaweetie, Sterling K. Brown, Viola Davis, and Whoopi Goldberg will reflect on the current state of the community with a spotlight on Social Justice as well as the Network’s 40th anniversary with a special appearance by BET founder Robert L. Johnson.

As previously announced, “BET Awards” 2020 will feature performances by Alicia Keys, Black ThoughtChloe X HalleDaBabyD Smoke, Jay Rock, Jennifer Hudson, John LegendJonathan McReynolds, Kane Brown, Karen Clark Sheard, Kierra Sheard, Lil WayneMegan Thee StallionJahiNas, Public Enemy, QuestloveRapsodyRoddy RicchSiR, Summer Walker, Usher and YG, with performances by  BET Amplified Artists, Masego and Lonr. who are set to take the  BET Amplified Music Stage, a platform for emerging artists.  

Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET will oversee The “BET Awards” 2020 and serve as Executive Producer along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

BET.com/betawards is the official site for the “BET Awards” and will have all the latest news and updates about this year's show.

Follow us @BET_PR AND @BETAWARDS

ABOUT BET 

BET, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for black entertainment, music, culture and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET's growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

ABOUT “BET AWARDS”

The “BET Awards” is one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The “BET Awards” franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET's #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers, and athletes in a variety of categories.

ABOUT JESSE COLLINS ENTERTAINMENT

Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran, NAACP Image® Award winner and Emmy® Award nominee Jesse Collins. For over a decade, the company has played an integral role in producing some of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment.  JCE has a multi-year overall agreement with VIACOMCBS cable networks for its television and film projects across all platforms — including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1 on the television side.  On the theatrical film side, the company also has a first look on JCE’s film development projects which could include Viacom’s film entities such as Paramount Players.  The company produced the critically acclaimed biopic The New Edition Story, the story on the boy band that aired as a 3-part mini-series and posted record ratings for BET and attracted nearly 30 million viewers.  It was followed by The Bobby Brown Story, which chronicled the talented but troubled singer’s exit from the popular ’80s boy band through his solo success, and was the highest rated non-tentpole program on the network since The New Edition Story.  The next mini-series for JCE is Uptown, a 3-part original scripted miniseries for BET that will chronicle the story of producer Andre Harrell’s iconic record label, Uptown Records.  The company’s current scripted TV series is American Soul, the story about the struggle to make the dream of Soul Train, the first nationally-syndicated Black music show, come true.  It ended its first season as the #1 new cable scripted drama for African Americans 18-49 and its second season debuted in May 2020. Previously, JCE produced BET’s hit TV series Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart that ran for 5 seasons.  On the unscripted side, JCE produces annual live specials — the BET Awards, Soul Train Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards.  Past credits include Black Girls Rock!, UNCF’s An Evening of Stars, ABFF Honors, BET Honors, Love & Happiness: An Obama Farewell, VH1’s Dear Mama, HBO’s Amanda Seales I Be Knowin;’ Netflix’s Def Comedy Jam 25 and Leslie Jones: Time Machine.  JCE’s game shows include VH1’s Hip Hop Squares with Ice Cube and CMT’s Nashville Squares.  Its music competition series on BET, Sunday Best is now in its 10th season and Netflix’s Rhythm & Flow featuring judges Tip “T.I.” Harris, Cardi B and Chance the Rapper will soon begin production on its second season that will air in 2021.  Collins is also a producer for The Grammy Awards.  He was on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop 100 Power Players list, has been featured on the cover of Vibe magazine and in numerous publications including Ebony magazine’s Power 100 issue.  Go to http://www.jessecollinsent.com/ for more information on the company.

(Photo: BET)

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