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BET Networks Celebrates Black History Month with Extraordinary Talent on “The BET HONORS” Premiering Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 9 PM*

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Continuing the Black History Month celebration, BET Networks returns with the eighth annual “The BET HONORS” to pay tribute to the contributions of legendary African Americans in the areas of education, theater, business and technology, music and innovation. Comedian Wayne Brady hosts the show for the second year, honoring Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad (Theatrical Award), 21-time Grammy Award-winning entrepreneur Kanye West (Visionary Award), multi-platinum recording star Usher (Musical Arts Award), Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole (Education Award), and Chairman of Microsoft, John W. Thompson (Business & Technology Award). “The BET HONORS” premieres Monday, February 23, 2015 at 9 pm/ET.

(L-R) Honorees Usher, Phylicia Rashad, Johnnetta B. Cole, Kanye West and John W. Thompson pose onsta

(L-R) Honorees Usher, Phylicia Rashad, Johnnetta B. Cole, Kanye West and John W. Thompson pose onstage during “The BET Honors” 2015 at Warner Theatre on January 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)

The show opened with an entertaining old-school hip hop performance by Wayne Brady that earned him a standing ovation from the audience. The star-studded roster of performers included Ne-Yo, K. Michelle, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Patti LaBelle and Charlie Wilson who was joined on stage by Kanye West for an impromptu performance. Keisha Knight Pulliam, Anthony Anderson, Damon Dash, Bobby Brown, Glynn Turman and Diahann Carroll presented the awards to the honorees.

Proceeds from the private sale of “THE BET HONORS” will benefit the National Cares Mentoring Program, an organization that helps transform the lives of Black children by inspiring, recruiting, and mobilizing masses of caring Black men and women to mentor and nourish, challenge and champion them.

“THE BET HONORS” sponsors include AT&T, Lexus, Macy’s and the U.S. Army. Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks, and Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials & Music Production, BET Networks are executive producers, along with Jesse Collins of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

For more information on “THE BET HONORS,” visit http://www.bet.com/bethonors. Viewers can also find series updates on Facebook by liking the fan pages at http://www.facebook.com/BET. Also, join the conversation about the special on Twitter by using the hashtag, #BETHonors. Follow the show for all updates & special surprises @BET.

*All times ET

ABOUT BET NETWORKS:

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

About Jesse Collins Entertainment:

Jesse Collins Entertainment is a full service film and television production company founded by entertainment industry veteran and Image(R) Award winner Jesse Collins. For over a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing many of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment. Prior to launching his own company in 2012, Collins was executive producer and executive vice president of Cossette Productions and produced ground-breaking, award winning television programming including the “BET Awards,” the GRAMMY(R) Awards, “BET Honors,” “UNCF’s Evening of Stars” and the “BET Hip Hop Awards.” Collins is also an executive producer of BET’s hit series, The Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart. Collins has also worked with a myriad of icons including Will Smith, Chris Rock, Jay Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Mariah Carey and Prince.

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