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BET Awards 2022: Ye honors Diddy with achievement award, Janelle Monáe gives Supreme Court the middle finger

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Sean "Diddy" Combs was the man of the night at Sunday's BET Awards, where the hip-hop icon was honored with the ceremony's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Following a jam-packed tribute performance, featuring the likes of Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim and Diddy himself, an unrecognizable Ye, rocking a mask covering his entire face, gave an impassioned speech about the 52-year-old rapper, who he called his "brother."

"This man has been through and survived a lot of stuff and broke down a lot of doors so we could be standing (here)," Ye said. "He broke down so many doors of classism, taste, culture, swag."

While Diddy thanked the many people who helped him along the way in his acceptance speech, he also shared a dream he has yet to realize.

Sean "Diddy" Combs accepts the lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Sean "Diddy" Combs accepts the lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

"I got this dream of Black people being free," Diddy said. "I got this dream of us controlling our own destiny. I got this dream of us taking accountability and to stop killing each other. I got this dream of us being rich and wealthy and living on the same block. I have this dream of us unifying."

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Check out more of the top moments from the show:

Lizzo performs "About Damn Time" at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) ORG XMIT: CADA844
Lizzo performs "About Damn Time" at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) ORG XMIT: CADA844

Lizzo gives golden opening performance

Rocking an outfit reminiscent of a gold disco ball, Lizzo kicked off the awards ceremony with a feel-good performance of her nu-disco hit "About Damn Time."

The R&B singer's passionate vocals were complemented by the soulful gyrating of her glittery backup dancers.

"It's about damn time we stand in our power, Black people," said Lizzo during the performance.

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Janelle Monáe speaks onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.
Janelle Monáe speaks onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.

Janelle Monáe gives SCOTUS the finger, Taraji P. Henson and more talk abortion rights

Host Taraji P. Henson and other women at the BET Awards took the elephant in the room head on, addressing abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade.

In her opening monologue, Henson gave a shoutout to Lizzo for pledging a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood. "It's about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman," Henson said. "A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman who can give life if she chooses to."

Jazmine Sullivan, who won the award for best female R&B/pop artist, said during her acceptance speech that she wanted to "speak directly to the men" on the issue of abortion.

"We need y'all to stand up for us, stand up with us," Sullivan said. "If you've ever benefitted from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing with us. This is not just a woman's issue: This is everybody's issue."

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Jazmine Sullivan accepts the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.
Jazmine Sullivan accepts the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.

Latto, who clinched the award for best new artist, also highlighted a woman's right to an abortion in her acceptance speech. "It's giving pro-choice," she said. "It's never giving a man policing my body."

In perhaps the boldest gesture of the night, Janelle Monáe gave the middle finger to the Supreme Court while presenting the award for best female R&B/pop artist.

“(Expletive) you, Supreme Court," Monáe said. "I know we're celebrating us right now, as we should; we absolutely deserve to celebrate, especially now. We must celebrate our art by protecting our rights and our truths.”

Monáe also gave a "special shoutout to Black women, to Black queer artists, to Black nonbinary artists" in the face of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

“These artists making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body, and our decisions, my decision,” Monáe added.

Janelle Monáe confirms she's nonbinary: 'I am beyond the binary'

Jack Harlow shows solidarity with Lil Nas X, brings out Brandy for 'First Class' remix

Rapper Jack Harlow showed love to his "Industry Baby" collaborator Lil Nas X on the red carpet at the 2022 BET Awards on June 26, 2022.
Rapper Jack Harlow showed love to his "Industry Baby" collaborator Lil Nas X on the red carpet at the 2022 BET Awards on June 26, 2022.

Rapper Jack Harlow showed love to his "Industry Baby" collaborator Lil Nas X on the BET Awards red carpet by wearing a graphic t-shirt with his friend's face on it.

The "Montero" rapper recently criticized BET after receiving zero BET Awards nominations for the second year in a row. He even dropped a song and music video addressing the snub, titled "Late to Da Party."

Harlow also performed a smooth medley of his songs "Poison" (with an assist from Lil Wayne) and "First Class," bringing out R&B singer Bran' Nu (aka Brandy) for a surprise remix of the latter. Harlow and Bran' Nu grooved together seamlessly with their synchronized footwork.

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Jussie Smollett returns to Hollywood following hate crime verdict

Following a bout of legal trouble, actor Jussie Smollett made his red carpet return Sunday.

The former "Empire" star was sentenced to 150 days in county jail and 30 months of felony probation in early March, after being found guilty of staging a racist and homophobic attack.

In a conversation with Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier, Smollett said he's thankful for the unwavering support of those who've stood by his side.

"They never wavered, they never straddled the fence, and for that, I am forever grateful. I don't take that lightly for a moment," Smollett said. "My family, my friends, the true ones, if I never get to hug you in person, know that there's a hug in my heart that I genuinely mean."

'I was on the up and up': Jussie Smollett disputes claims that he staged hate crime for fame

Mariah Carey performs at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) ORG XMIT: CADA923
Mariah Carey performs at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) ORG XMIT: CADA923

Mariah Carey gets her flowers at BET Awards, performs with Latto

Mariah Carey made a surprise cameo during Latto's BET Awards performance, and the pop icon was given the royal treatment.

After giving a sassy performance of her song "It's Givin," Latto launched into her infectious hit "Big Energy," which has been remixed with vocals from Mariah Carey's classic "Fantasy."

Following a verse rapped by Latto, a projection of Carey's hourglass silhouette appeared on a screen and transformed into a cluster of her signature butterflies. Carey then emerged from behind the screen in a black dress and delivered an ethereal vocal, including her inimitable whistle tone.

Latto capped off the performance by giving Carey a bouquet of white flowers, as the audience roared and clapped in celebration of the legend's appearance.

Mariah Carey performs at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) ORG XMIT: CADA932
Mariah Carey performs at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) ORG XMIT: CADA932

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: BET Awards 2022: Kanye West honors Diddy, more top moments