Today, BET Networks revealed iconic R&B group New Edition will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 “BET Awards”. In addition, multi–Grammy Award winning hip-hop artist and singer-songwriter, Chance the Rapper, will receive the evening’s Humanitarian Award presented by Walmart. Internationally, Ilwad Elman and Yvonne Chaka Chaka will be honored with the 2017 BET International Global Good Star and Power Awards, which recognize individuals championing endeavors to positively impact change and heighten awareness in different parts of the world. This year’s broadcast marks 17 years of unexpected performances, trailblazing moments, super dope talent, and entertainment’s most provocative players. The iconic show continues to be a cultural rule breaker steeped in reinvention with some of the most memorable moments in Award show history. The “BET Awards” has set the standard for one of the most intently unconventional, news-provoking broadcasts. The 2017 “BET Awards” will air on Tuesday, June 27 at 8 pm ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA on BET Africa, in association with Russian Bear.
New Edition is a legendary R&B group consisting of members Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill. Throughout the course of their extensive musical career, New Edition released several chart-topping hits including “Candy Girl”, “Cool It Now”, and “Mr. Telephone Man” – for which they received multiple Soul Train Awards and American Music Award wins. In January 2017, BET launched The New Edition Story, a three-part miniseries that was also BET’s first scripted music-focused program. The show profiled the New Edition journey from the little-known boy band from the Orchard Park Projects of Roxbury, Massachusetts, to one of the most successful adult acts ever in the music industry. To date, New Edition has sold over 20 million records world-wide.
Chance has consistently used his musical platform to support a number of impactful educational, social and political initiatives – positively impacting both local and national communities. In 2016, Chance worked closely with President Obama on My Brother’s Keeper Challenge, an initiative of the United States Federal Government to promote intervention by civic leaders in the lives of young men of color – working to address their unique challenges and to promote racial justice. Chance has also activity fought gun violence, leading social campaigns in his home-town Chicago. Most recently, Chance the Rapper pledged to donate $1 million to in-need Chicago Public Schools in an effort to offset the lack of government funding provided to the area.
Ilwad Elman is a Somali-Canadian social activist. In her work with the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center in Mogadishu, Ilwad helps to run Sister Somalia, the country’s first program providing counseling, health and housing support to victims of gender-based violence. Her efforts with Sister Somalia as well as several other organizations have helped to raise awareness locally on the issue and encouraged governmental policy changes. Ilwad’s work promoting gender equality has also brought her to the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative, which focuses on countering and preventing violent extremism. Ilwad Elman will receive the Global Good Star Award, which honors individuals who have shown extreme courage and resilience, rising to the challenge and fighting for meaningful resolve across a particular issue (or issues) and human crises impacting their community and the world.
Outside of her musical career, Yvonne is a champion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the United Nations MDG Envoy for Africa; and the Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. She was chosen by Nelson Mandela as the first ambassador for his children’s fund, and has established her own charity, the Princess of Africa Foundation, which is a member of the ACTION global health advocacy partnership. In 2012, she was the first African woman to receive the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award. Yvonne Chaka Chaka is the recipient of the 2017 BET International Global Good Power Award, which recognizes individuals who have been steadfast and true to their cause(s), leveraging their artistic platform to bring visibility and provide a voice to the under-served and under-represented.
Ilwad and Yvonne join past Global Good honorees artist and philanthropist Akon for his Lighting Africa initiative and Tanzanian supermodel Millen Magese for her dedicated work in maternal and women health as well as the education of African girls on self-care through her Millen Magese Foundation. The Global Good honors will be awarded as a part of the BET International presentation, and will be airing in the international edition of the 2017 “BET Awards.”
Hosted by Leslie Jones, the “BET Awards” 2017 will include performances by Bruno Mars, Future, Migos, Trey Songz and Tamar Braxton. The star power continues as Yara Shahidi, Cardi B, Issa Rae, Jamie Foxx, La La Anthony, the cast of Universal Pictures’ “Girls Trip” (Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, with Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah), Trevor Noah, Robin Thede, Cari Champion and Demetrius Shipp Jr. and many others will take the stage as presenters during the 17th anniversary of the annual highly-anticipated televised event.