Sean “Diddy” Combs has already had quite a big year. Weeks after hosting and executive producing the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, the music and media mogul received a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s BET Awards that was set off by a tribute performance filled with Black star power and tons of hits he’s had a hand in creating.
Diddy’s tribute started at the beginning of his music career, rewinding the clock back to his days at Uptown Records with an appearance by Jodeci members K-Ci Hailey, JoJo Hailey and Mr. Dalvin who sang “Come And Talk To Me.” Mary J. Blige followed with a passionate performance of “I’m Goin’ Down” that served as a bridge between Uptown and Diddy’s own label Bad Boy Records (now named Bad Boy Entertainment).
After that soulful R&B intro, it was time for a hip-hop takeover led by Diddy himself. He brought out legend after legend, including Shyne, Jadakiss and Sheek Louch of The Lox, Lil Kim and Busta Rhymes, who joined him on “Pass The Courvoisier” where they changed the key lyric to “Pass the Ciroc this way,” in a shout out to Diddy’s thriving liquor brand.
He jumped from the past to the present with his brand new single “Gotta Move On” with Bryson Tiller. The trap soul singer quickly appeared then disappeared in the blink of an eye with the cameraman instead focusing on Diddy and the dancers.
The music came to an abrupt stop, and a video of Kim Porter appeared on the large screen at the rear of the stage. In footage recorded before Diddy received his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2008, the dearly departed love of his life spoke about how deserving he was of that honor and her words underscored the current occasion. That moment set the stage for a big finale performance of “I’ll Be Missing You” featuring Faith Evans and Maverick City taking the song and BET Awards ’22 to church.
After the dynamic tribute performances, Diddy was presented with his Lifetime Achievement Award by Babyface who shared a hilarious and very Diddy story about their first time meeting and hanging out. When it was his turn on the mic, Diddy’s acceptance speech was filled with equal parts excitement, swagger and gratitude. He thanked everyone from God to his mother (who was his date for the evening) to Porter and others he’s lost over the years such Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell, Notorious B.I.G. and Heavy D. Included in his shout outs was a surprise shout out to his longtime ex-girlfriend Cassie who was there with him in the trenches during a very dark time.
At the end of his speech, he surprised everyone when he pledged one million dollars each to his alma mater Howard University and to Deion Sanders‘ football program at Jackson State University.
Diddy may have received a Lifetime Achievement Award at BET Awards ’22, but he’s nowhere near done in this lifetime. When he said “can’t stop, won’t stop,” it was more than simple words – it’s his way of life.