This year’s BET Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the legendary Smokey Robinson. Tori Kelly, Robin Thicke and Ne-Yo warmed up the scene with a beautiful tribute before Smokey took the stage to give us all a profound message for the books.

Mr. Robinson’s speech was distinct in that it was structured as a prayer to his heavenly Father, with numerous asides to the people he wanted to thank specifically: Deborah Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET; Barry Gordy, his best friend; Frances, his wife; his “road family” on tour and his fans.

He described Frances as not only his helpmate and his babe, but also his “goalie” who blocks so much ish from getting into him–ish he’s not even aware of most of the time. This made the audience chuckle.

As Smokey rounded off his speech, his tone shifted. He clearly had a message on his heart that he wanted to convey to the crowd.

He described the music industry as a “bittersweet wine,” both fantastic and fickle. His caution: for celebrities to not get so drunk off themselves and their fame that they fail to acknowledge God who has given them these blessings.

There are countless people who wish they had someone in their lives that loves them, so the stars should be thankful that there are millions of people who love them and have sustained their careers.

Smokey also wanted to make sure that people in the show business realized their place. The success, fame and fortune did not begin with them and neither will it end with them.

In a culture so fixated on the idea of self-made millionaires, Smokey wanted to set the record straight. Anything we have is a blessing and we should be grateful to be a part of the journey.

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The audience gave him a standing ovation, as they appreciated his words of truth and wisdom. Here is an excerpt from the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient’s acceptance speech:

“I thank You so much, Father, because You allowed me to live in this fantastic, crazy, fickle world of show business.

It’s like a bittersweet wine, and it’s intoxicating and there’s so many people– millions of people around the world– who are standing in line to get a taste.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to get a taste, and get drunk on yourselves, and become self-absorbed and haughty, there are so many people in this world who wish that they had one person who they felt like loved them.

And for you to become haughty and self-absorbed because millions of people around the world–most of them you’ll never know or never will even meet– love you– is so ridiculous.

You should be thankful. It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing and we should all know from Whom our blessings flow. You didn’t start this; you are not the first in line. The line started way way way way way before your great great great great grandparents were born. ALSO. You are not the end of the line, so don’t be so full of yourselves.”

Great lesson, one we should all take to heart!

Featured Image: Sterling Munksgard /

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