The BET Awards has been the home of some of soul and R&B’s most moving tributes since the show’s first Lifetime Achievement Award was handed to Whitney Houston in 2001. Last night’s ceremony was no different, with viewers gushing over Jamie Foxx, Marsha Ambrosius and Ledisi’s tribute to Anita Baker, with Yolanda Adams’ powerful pipes garnering heavy praise from both fans at home and stars in the room.
Check out these other unforgettable tributes to legends such as Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross & more!
Fantasia is the go-to-girl for soulful tributes, having dedicated performances to greats such as Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle, the last establishing itself as one of the American Idol winner’s best moments on stage in 2014.
Beyoncé is often called this generation’s Tina Turner, so who better to honor the trailblazing Rock ‘N Soul star than the Houston singer, who did just that during the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors.
Powerhouse gospel singer Kim Burrell’s friendship with Whitney Houston went well beyond their shared vocal talents, as the late Houston jumped for joy upon realizing the pastor would cover her 1996 classic, “I Believe In You & Me,” during her BET Honors tribute.
After her passing, several other singers took on Houston’s classics in tribute, including Jennifer Hudson, who performed a stirring rendition of “One Moment in Time,” on a 2014 episode of TODAY.
Ms. Badu was called upon to pay tribute to Supremes leading lady, Diana Ross, during the 2007 BET Awards.
These four divas tore the house down in 2012 while honoring the R&B icon, covering several of her hits.
Not only did pop superstar Beyoncé play Queen Etta in 2008 film Cadillac Records, but paid tribute to the influential vocalist at the 2008 Fashion Rocks Awards.
Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera, Martina McBride & Florence Welch’s Tribute to Aretha Franklin.
Adams’ Anita Baker tribute isn’t the first time the gospel powerhouse killed the mic in honor of another, as she tore the stage down alongside her pop, country and soul-singing peers while paying homage to Aretha Franklin at the 2011 Grammys.
Chrisette Michelle, Tamia, Faith Evans, Kem, Rachelle Farrell, Lalah Hathaway, Dionne Farris & Goapele’s Tribute to Anita Baker
Years before being officially honored by BET, the Detroit diva was honored by some of the most uniquely soulful voices in the game at the 2010 Soul Train Awards.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.