Busta Rhymes, Michael K. Williams and More Stars Pay Tribute to DMX at 2021 BET Awards

Two months after DMX passed away, his life and legacy were celebrated at the 2021 BET Awards on Sunday, June 27. Moreover, the show debuted a song from his upcoming posthumous album.

By Alyssa Morin Jun 28, 2021 4:01 AMTags
Watch: DMX Dead at 50: His Life & Legacy

DMX's legacy continues to live on.

The legendary rapper, who passed away at the age of 50 in April after being hospitalized due to suffering a heart attack, was honored at the 2021 BET Awards on Sunday, June 27.

During the ceremony, which was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, DMX's closest friends and colleagues celebrated his impressive career with a special tribute. Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes, Method Man and Griselda were among those who took to the stage with memorable performances of the late musician's hits.

The medley of tracks, accompanied by footage of DMX, included "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" before concluding with Busta Rhymes' passionate rendition of "Party Up (Up in Here)." The performances were followed by the onstage artists all bowing their heads and then forming the late rapper's signature "X" symbol with their arms.

Along with covers of DMX's beloved tracks, the show debuted a new song from his upcoming posthumous album, EXODUS.

DMX's Life in Pictures

Additionally, actor Michael K. Williams made a surprise appearance during the tribute by performing as DMX, and social media users were stunned by how much he resembled the late rapper as he belted out "Slippin'."


This is just one of many tributes held in DMX's honor.

Weeks after the rapper's passing in April, a public memorial service was held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, which was co-produced by Swizz Beatz and Kanye West, whose Sunday Service choir performed at the event.

"Our father is a king, our father is an icon," Xavier Simmons said at the time. "I am so honored to have a father like we have...This man deepened my ability to love...I cried so much tears of joy, so much."

Earlier that month, DMX's family confirmed the heartbreaking news about his death.

"We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days," his loved ones said in a statement at the time.

"Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him," the statement continued. "Earl's music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time."

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Prior to his death, the "Party Up" rapper was taken to the medical center in White Plains, New York after suffering a heart attack. He was then put on life support. At the time, TMZ reported that DMX suffered a drug overdose, which prompted his heart attack.

And while the late artist was open about his history of substance addiction, his reps didn't confirm or comment on the outlet's reporting. The rapper is survived by his 15 children and fiancée Desiree Lindstrom.

Revisit his career milestones here.

Click here for more updates on the 2021 BET Awards.

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