Beyonce to Receive Humanitarian Honor at BET Awards

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Additionally, special tributes are planned for the late Kobe Bryant and Little Richard at this year's virtual ceremony.

BET on Thursday announced that Beyoncé will receive the Humanitarian Award at the 2020 BET Awards, set to air on Sunday.

The superstar is being honored for her longstanding philanthropic work, including her recent COVID-19 relief efforts. Beyoncé teamed up with her mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, for the #IDIDMYPART mobile testing initiative encouraging residents in her hometown of Houston and other Black and brown communities — who are disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus — to know their status. She has also donated to support organizations on the ground helping to meet basic health and mental needs in vulnerable communities impacted by the pandemic.

The announcement comes days after the socially conscious singer released her latest single, "Black Parade" — a celebration of Black heritage — on Juneteenth. With the new song also came the launch of Beyoncé's BeyGOOD’s Black Business Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses. 

This year's 20th annual BET Awards — which will air virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic, featuring "innovative techniques and artist-generated content" — will also honor two Black legends who died this year: Kobe Bryant and Little Richard. Rapper Lil Wayne will pay tribute to Bryant, while actor and comedian Wayne Brady is set to speak about Little Richard.

Additionally, Timbaland, Swizz Beats, Nicolas Johnson and D-Nice are being named 2020 Shine a Light honorees; and French anti-racist activist Assa Traore has been named BET International's Global Good Recipient.

The awards show will feature appearances by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Billy Porter, Lena Waithe, Lizzo, Michael B. Jordan, Naomi Campbell, Regina Hall, Saweetie, Viola Davis and Sterling K. Brown, among others. Performers include Alicia Keys, Chloe X Halle, DaBaby, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Megan Thee Stallion, Nas, Usher and more.

Also, Whoopi Goldberg will reflect on the current state of the community with a spotlight on social justice as well as BET's 40th anniversary with a special appearance by network founder Robert L. Johnson.

The BET Awards will air on BET and CBS on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.