BET Awards: Watch Nipsey Hussle's Mother Pay Tribute to Late Rapper While Accepting Humanitarian Award

The 2019 BET Awards paid tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle during the ceremony Sunday night (June 23), honoring him with a posthumous Best Male Hip Hop artist as well as a Humanitarian Award.

The rapper, real name Ermias Asghedom, was shot dead aged 33 outside his Marathon Clothing Company store on Los Angeles on March 31.

As well as being a Grammy-nominated artist, Hussle was also praised for his philanthropy and community work in South Los Angeles area. He was due to meet with officials from the city's police in order to discuss ways to tackle gang violence the day after he was killed.

During the ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, rapper T.I. brought Hussle's family on stage to accept the Humanitarian Award on his behalf.

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Hussle's grandmother, Margaret Boutte, was the first to speak.

"Everything has been said about my grandson that could be said," Boutte told the audience. "I was so amazed at how much love was out in the world for him that you uplifted me. I accepted his life as God said to me 'Nipsey you've done your job. You've left your mark. I'm welcoming you into heaven so you can rest.'"

The late rapper's girlfriend, Lauren London, also gave a short tribute. "I just want to thank you guys for all the love and support, and the marathon continues again," London said in reference the name of a mixtape released by the rapper and a term since used by his fans as a call to continue the work he achieved.

Hussle's mother, Angelique Smith, also spoke at length about visiting the scene of the shooting and how she and her son "held the same space" spiritually.

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Hussle's father, Dawit Asghedom, also thanked BET for allowing his son to perform in 2018 and for recognizing his achievements with the awards this year.

He ended his speech by raising a fist in the air and saying: "The marathon continues."

Elsewhere in the show, a multi-act tribute took place featuring songs Hussle wrote or performed on, featuring Marsha Ambrosius and YG.

John Legend and DJ Khaled ended the performance with all the other acts on stage and a full choir dressed in white to sing a rendition of "Higher."

BET previously confirmed they would be paying tribute to the 33-year-old at the ceremony.

"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," Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Head of Programming at BET, said in a statement.

"His passing was a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry and to the culture. We will continue to remember his advocacy and be inspired by the groundwork he set forth and his dire commitment to social change."

Nipsey Hussle
Nipsey Hussle's family and Lauren London accept the Humanitarian Award in honor of Nipsey Hussle onstage at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty
BET Awards: Watch Nipsey Hussle's Mother Pay Tribute to Late Rapper While Accepting Humanitarian Award | Culture