Giving back to give forward, BET Networks presents the third annual BET HONORS, hosted once again by the beautiful and talented actress Gabrielle Union. Taping on Saturday, January 16 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., this inspirational show which highlights distinguished African Americans performing at exceptional levels in their fields will premiere during Black History Month, on Monday, February 1 at 8:00 p.m.*
The 2010 honorees include legendary songstress Whitney Houston (Entertainment), multi-faceted entertainer Queen Latifah (Media), respected business mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs (Entrepreneur), accomplished educator Ruth Simmons (Education), and world renowned neurosurgeon Keith Black (Public Service). Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, India.Arie, Patti LaBelle, ELEW and others will pay tribute to these phenomenal stars with riveting performances.
"Celebrating the 30(th) anniversary of BET Networks this year, we are so proud to present the third annual BET Honors, a show celebrating the life works and accomplishments of inspiring African Americans," said Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks. "Each of our six celebrants are dedicated to reaching back to help bring more forward and represent integrity, perseverance, fortitude and outsized talent. Music, merriment and memories are only a small part of BET Honors. We also hope to encourage our viewers to embody and emulate the passion and drive of these individuals."
Last year's show and inaugural ball were monumental, and served as a kick off to the historic presidential weekend. Honorees included Mary J. Blige, Tyler Perry, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, B. Smith and Congressman James E. Clyburn. Hosted by Gabrielle Union, the event boasted once-in-a-lifetime performances and presentations by Stevie Wonder, Terrence Howard, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, Hill Harper, Joss Stone, and more.
Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks, and Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials, BET Networks are executive producers, along with John Cossette of John Cossette Productions.
**Media outlets who would like to cover the BET Honors red carpet arrivals should email Lyntina Townsend at Lyntina.Townsend@bet.net for important information on how to properly submit your request. The media credentials deadline to submit requests is Thursday, January 14, 2010.**
*All times ET/PT
About the 2010 BET Honorees
WHITNEY HOUSTON - Whitney Houston has established a benchmark for superstardom that will quite simply never be eclipsed in the modern era, with over 170 million combined album, singles and videos sold worldwide during her career with Arista Records. She is a singer's singer who has influenced countless other vocalists, both female and male. Music historians cite Whitney's record-setting achievements: the only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits; the first female artist to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at #1; and the only artist with seven consecutive multi-platinum albums. Her current album "I Look To You" debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts when it was released this past August and to date has sold 2 million copies worldwide. In February, Whitney will commence her long-awaited Nothing But Love World Tour 2010, with dates starting in Soeul, Korea and moving on to Japan, Australia and Europe.
QUEEN LATIFAH - Queen Latifah is a Grammy® Award-winning musician, television and film actress, label president, author and entrepreneur. Blessed with style and substance, Queen Latifah has blossomed into a one-woman entertainment conglomerate. On January 4, 2006, she became the first hip hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has received rave reviews, an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG Award nomination for her portrayal as Mama Morton in Miramax's Chicago.
SEAN "DIDDY" COMBS - Sean "Diddy" Combs is a mogul in every sense of the word. As a top record executive, performer, TV/Film producer, writer, arranger, clothing designer, and actor, he's mastered what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Winning three Grammy® Awards, a Council of Fashion Designers of America Award as well as a FiFi Award for Fragrance of The Year are just a few of his stellar accomplishments. At the helm of Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide, Mr. Combs oversees Bad Boy Records; the clothing lines Sean John and Sean by Sean Combs, a movie production company, a fragrance line, and is also co-owner and brand builder for Ciroc vodka.
RUTH SIMMONS - Ruth J. Simmons was sworn in as the 18th president of Brown University, an Ivy League school, on July 3, 2001. She also holds an appointment as a professor of comparative literature and of Africana Studies at Brown. Dr. Simmons graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans and completed her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures at Harvard. She served in various administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before becoming president of Smith College, the largest women's college in the United States.
KEITH BLACK - Dr. Keith L. Black serves as Chairman and professor of the Department of Neurosurgery, Director of Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, and Director of the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. An internationally renowned neurosurgeon and scientist, Dr. Black joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in July 1997, and prior to that served on the University of California, Los Angeles faculty for 10 years where he was Professor of Neurosurgery. Since 1987, he has performed more than 5,000 operations for resection of brain tumors, and has a unique ability to combine cutting-edge research and an extremely busy surgical practice.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. ( 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 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. 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; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.