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BET Networks will kick off the New Year celebrating Black Excellence at its ninth annual “BET Honors” special hosted by comedian, television personality and actor Arsenio Hall. The star-studded night will honor five distinguished African Americans performing at exceptional levels in the areas of art, music, theater, technology and business.

This year’s honorees are Lee Daniels (Television and Film Award), Academy Award nominated filmmaker and creator of the hit television show “Empire;” Mellody Hobson (Corporate Citizen Award), President of Ariel Investments, one of the largest African American owned money management and mutual fund companies in the U.S. and current Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dreamworks Animation; Eric H. Holder, Jr. (Public Service Award), the first African American United States Attorney General and partner at Covington & Burling, LLP in Washington D.C.; Patti Labelle (Musical Arts Awards), the iconic Grammy Award winning singer whose powerhouse voice has sold over 50 million records worldwide and L.A. Reid (The Business of Entertainment Award), Chairman & CEO of Epic Records, a three-time Grammy Award winner and prolific music mogul who helped launch some of the biggest music careers and superstars of today.

Arsenio Hall will make his first hosting appearance on the “BET Honors” stage.   For over a decade, Hall has been entertaining audiences with his acting and comedic skills on television, film and the stage. He returned to late-night television as executive producer and host of the syndicated “The Arsenio Hall Show,” which aired on stations around the country during the 2013 – 2014 season. Most recently, he appeared on the PBS special “Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize,” which aired in November 2015. Arsenio can currently be seen co-starring on BET’s hit comedy series “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” as well as enjoying a triumphant return to his first love of stand-up comedy, performing at venues across the country.

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“BET HONORS” 2016 EXTRAORDINARY HONOREES  was originally published on