While being honoured with the award, the 52-year-old rapper gave several special shout-outs to his late ex Kim Porter who died unexpectedly of lobar pneumonia in 2018 at age 47.
After several star-studded performances that paid homage to his career, Diddy played an old video clip of Porter telling him, “Congratulations, Puffy, you’re a star. I can’t tell you how proud I am. From Harlem to Hollywood, that’s a long journey … You work so hard, and I’ve watched you, your blood sweat and tears, and you’ve arrived.”
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Sweet home videos of their children, son King, 24, and twins Jessie James and D’Lila Star, 15, were also featured in a montage.
Combs said the words, “Baby girl, this is for you” before his performance of “I’ll Be Missing You” with Faith Evans and Maverick City Choir. During the performance, he yelled out, “I miss you so much, baby.”
The father of six also performed “I Need a Girl,” “Pass the Cîroc” with Busta Rhymes,” and “Gotta Move On” with Bryson Tiller. meanwhile, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, The Lox and Lil’ Kim paid homage to his career.
After the performances were over, Kanye West and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds presented Combs with his award.
While accepting the honour, he said, “I just miss Kim y’all. Stay connected to God, and he’ll bring you out. I just want to say thank you to Kim.”
He went on to thank “everyone who played a part in my life,” including ex Cassie who brought him out of the “dark times.”
Concluding his speech, he said, “When I was a kid, I saw these images that were setting me up for failure, these images that were making me feel less than a dog. I was like, ‘Man I’m not with that. I’m not with that.’ I closed my eyes and dreamed and saw what I had to do.”
“We here for ourselves, we here for our ancestors, you feel me?” he said. “God gave me this message to give to you, and you, and you and you and the time is right now … I got this dream of Black people being free … I got this dream of us taking accountability and stop killing each other … Being rich and wealthy and living on the same block. I have this dream of us unifying … Our allies. If you’re with us, don’t be silent…I got that dream for us to be free, the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. We gotta unify.”
BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award honours industry giants who have not only significantly shaped culture through their extensive careers, but who have also been transformative leaders who consistently inspire generations by setting a true standard of excellence.
This year’s BET Awards which honour musicians, actors and athletes, was hosted by Empire Star, Taraij P. Henson and aired from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, United States.
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