Beyonce did more than sparkle on the red carpet, she blinded. Wow, that’s some dress. Lisa gave you a rundown of the winners from the BET Awards earlier this morning that celebrated the stars of today. However, the highlights of the award show were the heartfelt tributes that were the most poignant.
Lifetime achievement honoree Diana Ross urged younger performers to “keep it classy” and refrain from foul behavior. A tearful Patti LaBelle joined an all-star tribute to R&B crooner Gerald Levert, who died last year. And fists pumped in the air as hip-hop group Public Enemy honored the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown, with a stirring rendition of one of his landmark hits, “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud).”
“James Brown gets credit for laying the musical foundations of hip hop, but he set some attitudes for the culture as well. He was pro-black, pro-strong,” said civil rights activist and longtime Brown friend, the Rev. Al Sharpton. “It’s time for us to pick up the legacy and teach another generation to wear their shoulders back and hold their heads high and be able to say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.”
With that, Flavor Flav and Chuck D took the stage, launching into a medley of hits, including “Fight the Power” and “911 is a Joke.” They were joined by veteran bassist Bootsy Collins, wearing his trademark shades, for a cover of Brown’s “Say it Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud).” Brown died on Christmas.
Many more photos (Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Tyrese Gibson, Al Sharpton, 50 Cent, Charlie Murphy, Ashanti, Patti LaBelle, Jimmy Jean Louis, Lil’ Kim, Jordin Sparks, Chaka Kahn, Ray J, Vivica A. Fox, T.I., Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah, Don Cheadle) from the BET Awards red carpet and pressroom are after the jump.
(Hint: To open larger images of the photos in a new window or tab, chose the photo, and use the right click option on your mouse.)