Connie Orlando, head of programming at BET, said in a statement, “As a prolific artist and leader, Nipsey Hussle was zealous about driving change for the betterment of his community, empowering and employing those in need and being an influential and highly respected leader.”
She also said Hussle’s death was a “tremendous loss” to the entertainment industry and black culture, and added, “We will continue to remember his advocacy and be inspired by the groundwork he set forth and his dire commitment to social change.”
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down outside of his Los Angeles clothing store on March 31, a day before he was to meet with the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and the city’s police chief to discuss how to curb gang violence.
The 33-year-old had also opened a co-working space with science, technology, engineering and math education for the youth.
“Growing up as a kid, I was looking for somebody — not to give me anything — but somebody that cared,” he once told the Los Angeles Times. “Someone that was creating the potential for change and that had an agenda outside of their own self-interests.”
Orlando continued in her statement, “We are forever grateful, humbled and honored to have experienced his presence and we are invested in doing our part to ensure that the marathon will indeed continue. It is an immense honor for us to recognize him with this year’s Humanitarian Award.”
In 2018, Hussle performed at the 2018 BET Awards pre-show with YG. According to network, he also regularly visited the set of BET original series.
BET is also planning a tribute performance for the late rapper featuring DJ Khaled, YG, and John Legend. The show will air live from Hussle’s hometown of Los Angeles on Sunday, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET.