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Eminem, Jackson Tribute Join BET Awards Lineup

Prince, John Legend slated to receive special honors at June 27th show

June 17, 2010 9:14 AM ET

Eminem, Alicia Keys. Usher, T-Pain and a tribute to Michael Jackson have all been added to the slate for this year's stocked BET Awards, airing live from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on June 27th. T.I. will make his first major award show performance since his incarceration and Kanye West will return to an awards show stage after his 2009 VMAs controversy at the event, plus Drake, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Diddy – Dirty Money and many more are booked for the big show. Queen Latifah will host. As Rolling Stone previously reported, Drake and Jay-Z lead this year's field with the most nominations.

With Eminem joining Drake and Kanye West on the BET Awards bill, the lineup is just a Lil Wayne shy of a potential performance of their joint hit "Forever." Eminem, Drake and Weezy performed the track, sans Kanye, at this year's Grammys, and unless Weezy phones in his verse live from Rikers, it's unlikely a repeat performance will happen. However, given the powerhouse lineup, the door is open for any number of collaborations: Drake and Alicia Keys' "Fireworks," or Ludacris and Nikki Minaj on "My Chick Bad." Insiders tell RS there's one big performance viewers can definitely expect to see: T-Pain, Ludacris, Rick Ross and a special guest all teaming with DJ Khaled on "All I Do is Win."

This year's BET Awards will also feature a pair of special presentations: Prince will be in the house to receive a much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Jackson family will be on hand to remember the King of Pop just two days after the first anniversary of Michael's death. Jackson's This Is It was also nominated in the Best Movie category. The BET Awards and the Jackson family previously paid tribute to Jackson at last year's ceremony, which was held just three days after Michael died on June 25th, 2009. John Legend will also be the recipient of the 2010 Humanitarian Award.

Look back at Michael Jackson's life and career in photos.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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