Nearly three months after his untimely death, Nipsey Hussle was posthumously honored with the Humanitarian Award at the 2019 BET Awards Sunday night (Jun. 23) as well as a star-studded tribute performance.
Nipsey’s friend T.I. took the stage first to salute the activist, philanthropist and entrepreneur, who spent the latter years of his life giving back to his community in Crenshaw.
“There will never be another Nipsey Hussle,” Tip said before welcoming Nipsey’s family, including his grandmother, mother, father, sister, son, daughter and girlfriend Lauren London to the stage to accept the award on his behalf.
London kept things short and sweet, saying: “I want to thank you guys for all the love and support, and the Marathon continues again.”
Then Hussle’s mother, Angelique Smith, delivered a moving speech about the moment she learned that Nipsey had been shot and her belief in the afterlife, stating that we are simply “vessels” on this side of eternity.
Afterward, his father, Dawit Asghedom, said that he wished his “friend” was here to accept the award in person and perform for his fans.
Marsha Ambrosius kicked off the musical tribute with her and Nipsey’s Victory Lap collaboration “Real Big” as Nipsey’s sister Samantha sang along passionately in the audience.
YG then honored to his brother by performing “Last Time That I Checc’d,” in front of an alternating blue and red backdrop just like their music video.
DJ Khaled and John Legend, dressed in all white, finished the tribute performance off with a stirring performance of “Higher” from Khaled’s new Father of Asahd album.
Khaled and Legend were joined by a choir who lent their voices to the chorus and also rocked back and forth to the music as Nipsey rapped his verse on the big screen behind them.
The duo were eventually joined on stage by the rest of the performers for the big finale that closed out the show.
You can watch the entire Nipsey Hussle tribute performance (feat. YG, DJ Khaled, John Legend & Marsha Ambrosius) at the top!