BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill introduced the “I Know What You Want” rapper as the BMI Icon for his “defining impact on hip-hop and for mentoring the next generation of talent.”
“We’re all blessed with this gift. It’s one thing to identify with the gift, it’s another thing to believe in it once you identify with it,” Busta said as he received the award. “I’ve never been celebrated as an icon before, but I never had to question whether I was one.”
Previous recipients of the Icon Award include Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface and Al Green.
A video tribute was shown including Janet, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott, Fat Joe and Mariah Carey sharing the love and respect they have for the 50-year-old MC.
Pharrell Williams praised the 12-time Grammy nominee and said he felt “honored to be in the presence of someone who had the courage to be so different … and still does today.”
Busta performed a melody of some of his biggest hits, such as “Break Ya Neck,” “Scenario,” and “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See.”
Pharrell co-wrote, co-produced and is featured on Rhymes’ 2002 hit “Pass the Courvoisier.” They turned the awards show into a party, bringing the invitation-only crowd to its feet as they closed the night performing the classic.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.