In honor of her nearly 40-year career, R&B legend Anita Baker was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 BET Awards last night (June 24).
After a clip played showing Patti LaBelle, Mary J. Blige and Lalah Hathaway showering Baker with much-deserved praise, Jamie Foxx had the honors of opening the tribute performance set, which was arguably the best performance of the night. He sat at a piano and, while mixing in some anecdotes, sang a medley of Baker’s hits including “Angel” and “Giving You the Best that I Got” before Marsha Ambrosius entered the stage to perform “Caught Up in a Rapture.”
Ledisi was next, as she delivered a beautiful cover of “Sweet Love” before Yolanda Adams wrapped up the tribute with a rousing rendition of “You Bring Me Joy” that made Baker emotional and brought the audience to their feet.
Unfortunately, Baker didn’t perform due to an upper respiratory infection, but during her acceptance speech, she dropped some gems for the artists in the attendance who come from different generations. “I would ask that the singers who are veterans here, when you see the young ones, tap them on the shoulder. They need you,” she said. “Young ones, look around the room and find a veteran and tap them on the shoulder and introduce yourself. Let’s take care of each other. We need each other. We can’t do it alone.”
Check out the rousing tribute performances below.
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