[02/19/08 - 09:14 AM]
BET Recognizes the Achievements of Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Richard Parsons, the Honorable Maxine Waters, DR. Cornel West and Ceo Janice Bryant Howroyd at 'The BET Honors'
Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Gladys Knight, Wyclef Jean, Jill Scott, Brian McKnight, Ne-Yo, Raheem DeVaughn, Blair Underwood, Danny Glover, Kerry Washington, Idris Elba, Hill Harper and Vivica A. Fox all joined host Cedric "The Entertainer" at the event.

[via press release from BET]

BET Recognizes the Achievements of Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Richard Parsons, the Honorable Maxine Waters, Dr. Cornel West and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd at 'The BET Honors'

Premiering Friday, February 22 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT

Hosted by Cedric 'The Entertainer,' Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Gladys Knight, Wyclef Jean, Jill Scott, Brian McKnight, Ne-Yo, Raheem DeVaughn, Blair Underwood, Danny Glover, Kerry Washington, Idris Elba, Hill Harper and Vivica A. Fox Delivered Powerful Performances and Inspirational Messages to the Honorees

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 -- It was an evening full of glamour, hope and inspiration, as BET presented its inaugural celebration of THE BET HONORS at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 12. Hosted by the always hilarious and charming Cedric "The Entertainer," the show, which recognizes African American luminaries across a broad range of achievements, will premiere on BET on Friday, February 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The night kicked off with R&B queen Jill Scott's powerful rendition of "The Real Thing" to honor Dr. Cornel West, University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, who received the Award for Education. Hill Harper of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was on hand to present Dr. West with his award.

Wyclef Jean got the audience on their feet during his performances of "The Sweetest Girl" and "Bad Mama Jama," and Idris Elba of The Wire spoke about the trailblazing media mogul Tyra Banks, who was recognized for her contributions in Media. Next up came Vivica A. Fox and Brian McKnight, who honored CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd for the Entrepreneur Award with "Win" and "Back at One."

Dirty Sexy Money star Blair Underwood introduced Entertainment Award honoree Alicia Keys, who was left speechless by Stevie Wonder's jaw-dropping performance of "Ebony Eyes" and "As." Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons was presented with the Corporate Citizen Award by Danny Glover, and John Legend paid tribute to Parsons with crowd favorites "Ordinary People" and "We're a Winner." The legendary Gladys Knight then performed "The Need to Be" and "(Just My) Imagination" to honor The Honorable Maxine Waters (Public Service Award), who was presented with her award by Kerry Washington.

Other performances of the night included Raheem DeVaughn singing "Lift Every Voice & Sing" and Ne-Yo with a rendition of Michael Jackson's "Lady in My Life."

Each honoree gave an emotional and uplifting acceptance speech, thanking their families for support and noting that this event not only highlighted the diversity of achievement in the Black community, but also the potential for future generations to achieve their dreams.

Stephen Hill, BET's EVP, Entertainment Programming, Music & Talent and Lynne Harris Taylor, VP of Specials are the show's executive producers, along with John Cossette of John Cossette Productions.

About the Honorees

TYRA BANKS - Tyra Banks is a supermodel, host and judge of the reality television show America's Next Top Model, and is currently hosting her own Daytime Emmy Award-nominated talk show, The Tyra Banks Show.

JANICE BRYANT HOWROYD - Janice Bryant Howroyd is the chairman, chief executive officer and founder of ACT*1, a personnel servicing company that provides staffing, human resources and management solutions to Fortune 500 companies in many industries.

ALICIA KEYS - Alicia Keys is a nine-time Grammy Award-winning R&B and soul singer, songwriter and pianist, who has sold more than 25 million records worldwide.

RICHARD PARSONS - Richard Parsons is Chairman of the Board of Time Warner Inc., whose businesses include filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems and publishing.

THE HONORABLE MAXINE WATERS - Maxine Waters (D-CA) was elected in November 2006 to her ninth term in the House of Representatives, serving the 35th District of California, which represents a large part of South Central Los Angeles, the communities of Westchester and Playa Del Ray, as well as the diverse cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood and Lawndale.

DR. CORNEL WEST, UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR IN THE CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES -Dr. Cornel West is a professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton University, and is considered one of America's most gifted, provocative and important public intellectuals. He has won numerous awards, including the American Book Award, and has received more than 20 honorary degrees.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: 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 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. 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 Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution.


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