This year's BET Awards honored music icon/Bad Boy business mogul Diddy as the lifetime achievement award recipient. From his trailblazing musical efforts on behalf of hip-hop and R&B to his admirable work in empowering Black businesses and entrepreneurs, Diddy checks off all the boxes for BET's esteemed award.
". . . every single person, even if I didn't say your name, that played a part in my life, thank you, thank you, thank you."
On June 26, following his explosive tribute performance, Babyface and Kanye West presented Diddy with his award, and in turn, the honoree used his emotional acceptance speech to give flowers to all the people who have inspired him over the years, including his mother, Janice Combs, his late partner Kim Porter, and even ex-girlfriend Cassie.
"I gotta thank every artist, every producer, every writer, and every executive I had the chance to work with — thank you so much," he said. "Thank you to all my fans who have been with me for over 25 years — I love y'all! . . . I know I'm missing a lot of names, so this is what I want to do . . . every single person, even if I didn't say your name, that played a part in my life, thank you, thank you, thank you."
The music mogul also took a moment to share his latest ambitious dream. "We ain't here just for ourselves; we're here for our ancestors," he started. "God put this message on my heart to you and you and you. The time is now; the time is right now . . . I got this new dream, I got this dream of Black people being free. I got this dream of us controlling our own destiny. This dream of us taking accountability and to stop killing each other. I got this dream of being rich and wealthy and living on the same block!"
He added: "I have this dream of us unifying, not just talk on this stage, but us. We know our community and our allies — if you with us, don't be silent. Put some money in the game, put some fight in the game, because we're at war, you feel me? . . . the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. We gotta unify." To conclude his speech, Diddy announced $1 million donations to both Howard University and Jackson State University to support hall of famer/coach Deion Sanders's mission to uplift HBCU football.
In the music world, Diddy is best known for elevating the careers of legendary artists like The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and Usher. The famed producer also worked with the likes of Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Lil' Kim, his son King Combs, and dozens more.
As a well-respected businessman, Diddy has innovated the blueprint around Black excellence with an empire that includes successful ventures like REVOLT, Ciroc, DeLeon tequila, Bad Boy Entertainment, and his Sean John clothing line. With all his major contributions to the culture, Diddy is more than due to receive BET's lifetime achievement award.