This years BET Awards brought out some of Hollywood’s biggest stars to celebrate and party all weekend leading up to the big show!
On June 24th, lifestyle specialist Miss Diddy held the annual A Toast To Black Hollywood event as a way to jump-start the festivities for the weekend. Honorees included former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and entrepreneur Cynthia Bailey, Nina Parker, Jacob Latimore, Lil Rel Howery, and more. Other attendees were Rocsi Diaz, A.J. Calloway, Hitmaka, Maxie.J, Benny the Butcher.
“My favorite part about putting this together is being with my peers,” Diddy said. “We get to look at each other and have these moments. My first year, I honored Cortez Bryant. A big music manager, incredible guy, he’s one of my closest friends. He was like, ‘Diddy, no one’s ever honored me.’ I’m like, ‘I’m like you? Young Money, Cortez, Bryant, Lil Wayne, Drake?!'”
Guests showcased their appreciation for Miss Diddy and her work throughout the years.
“Miss Diddy is one of the most sincere people in LA,” Howery said. “When she celebrates you when she invites you to an event, she makes you feel welcomed, no matter how many famous people she knows she makes everyone feel like they’re important. Anything she does I’m supporting because it’s always a room full of love too.”
Some A Toast to Black Hollywood honorees were thrilled to be awarded and nervous about their speeches.
“I’m feeling excited and a little nervous,” Bailey said. “I don’t really like giving speeches and I don’t get honored all that much so it’s kind of like, ‘oh wow, okay!’ Usually, I’m watching other people get honored. I started writing a speech because my husband was like, ‘did you write a speech?’ And I was like ‘what? I need to write a speech?’ I was going to wing it, but that would be a mess.”
Singer and actor Latimore also spoke about the joy he feels receiving an honor at this point in his career.
“I feel good man, I’m just happy to be given my flowers while I’m still on my journey,” Latimore said. “I feel like it’s so much more work to do, but you know I have been in the game for a long time so it feels good.”
With tons of events taking place during one of culture’s biggest weekends, people expressed why it’s important to attend the events preceding the show.
“I love seeing the culture get together,” Diaz said. “I like seeing us pull off some of the best award shows that are ever done in the business. The BET Awards is one of the most viewed award shows in the world. Whether it’s the Grammys, the Oscars, the Emmys, all of those shows, they look at what the BET Awards do just to see what they can do for their show.”
For more coverage of A Toast To Black Hollywood, check out the video above.