Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne and Epic Records CEO Sylvia Rhone were honored during an unforgettable ceremony ahead of the 65th Grammy Awards.
On Thursday night, February 2, the chart-topping artists and the veteran music executive received the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award from the Recording Academy and the Black Music Collective. The award was previously known as the Recording Academy Global Impact Award, but it was renamed as they honored the Aftermath founder. Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Ty Dolla $ign had the entire audience jamming to "Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None),” which Dre produced alongside Daz Dillinger and Warren G.
“My musical journey started with me wanting to find something that I could be good at simply so I could earn enough money to buy a decent pair of shoes just to be able to wear to school,” Dr. Dre said according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I was in junior high school the first time I had ever heard hip-hop for the first time. I heard mixing and scratching, and I couldn’t get enough of that sound. And once I got my hands on the turntables, I knew I had found my wings and I was determined to learn how to fly.”
Missy Elliott's tribute was also full of touching performances that hit home for the iconic artist. Chlöe hit the stage to perform a stunning rendition of Aaliyah's "One in a Million" and Elliott's song "One Minute Man." Her friend Tweet made a rare appearance to perform their collaborative hit "Oops (Oh My)" followed by Ciara, who sang and danced to their songs "Lose Control" and "1, 2 Step."
“I’ve won a lot of awards and I feel the same way — anybody that knows me knows that I’m always crying,” Elliott admitted. “I was in a girl group and Sylvia Rhone dropped me, then signed me as a solo artist. She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.… She never told us no. She never told me, ‘You need to lose weight.’ She never told me, ‘You need to change your records.’”
Elliott thanks Rhone before Busta Rhymes arrived to the podium to honor the groundbreaking Epic Records CEO, who's spent nearly five decades working in the music industry. Following her beautiful tribute, Lil Wayne was the final recipient of the night. DJ Khaled introduced the Young Money phenom before Drake and Deion Sanders paid homage to Weezy in a pair of videos.
“I want you all to know that I don’t get honored,” he said. “Where I’m from, New Orleans, you’re not supposed to do this... I walked into my mama’s room when I was 14. She asked me for a kid because my dad was killed. And her son had just blown up and went on his first tour. When I came home she said, ‘Son, I can’t live in this house by myself. We’re going to have to figure something out.’”
“I’d like to thank Antonia Johnson,” he said about his first child’s mother, “for reasoning with me and my mom, and my life. I’d like to thank every single one of my kids and every single one of their mothers."
Following his speech, Wayne was honored with an impressive performance from 2 Chainz, Swizz Beatz and Tyga, who delivered a series of the 40-year-old's hits. Check out more photos and videos from the star-studded event below.