Anita Baker was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 25). During the tribute to the quiet storm R&B legend, Jamie Foxx, Marsha Ambrosius, Ledisi and Yolanda Adams delivered show-stopping renditions of Baker’s hits, including “Same Ole Love,” “Angel,” “Giving You The Best That I Got,” and “Caught Up In The Rapture.”
The vocal legend enjoyed the tribute as the audience swayed, sang along and celebrated the soul-stirring tunes, but that didn’t stop Twitter folks from demanding a host of other singers to pop out, including Toni Braxton, Keke Wyatt and Tamia.
In her speech, the soul jazz singer praised live music, thanked Debra Lee and the BET team, but most importantly, she gave a powerful word on artists supporting one another:
“I have your attention and your ears and all I would ask is that the music be allowed to play, that singers are allowed to sing and rappers are allowed to rap and poets are allowed to rhyme,” she told the crowd. “When I came up in the business, I had amazing people like Tom Joyner at radio, I had amazing formats like The Quiet Storm that supported me as a young artist. And I would ask that the singers that are veterans here, when you see the young ones, tap ‘em on the shoulder. They need you. Young Ones, now that you’re here tonight, look around the room and find a veteran and tap ‘em on the shoulder and introduce yourself. Let’s take care of each other, we need each other, we can’t do it alone. Thank you for this welcome home, BET.”
Watch her full speech below: