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BET Turns 25 Strong

Black Entertainment Television will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a host of performers Wednesday night.

The network will host 25 Strong: The BET Silver Anniversary Special at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium at 8 p.m. (PST), with the festivities to debut on-air Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. (EST/PST).

Performers will include Usher, Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah, Earth Wind & Fire, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and R. Kelly, and among those also expected to attend are Steve Harvey, Yolanda Adams, Serena Williams, Kirk Franklin, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Donnie Simpson, Dr. Bobby Jones, Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, New Edition, Arsenio Hall, Jeffrey Osbourne, Donnie McClurkin, Hammer, Howard Hewett and Leon.

In addition, BET will bid farewell to retiring founder and chairman Robert L. Johnson in a special tribute.

BET News anchor Jacque Reid will host a half-hour post-event show highlighting the network’s favorite celebrity moments and performances.

“The only way to truly celebrate 25 years of BET’s place in entertainment history is with an amazing event and televised special loaded with unparalleled talent and creative passion,” BET CEO Debra Lee said in a prepared statement.

“This event is more than a look back at BET’s greatness over the years,” she added. “It’s our chance -- and that of our many friends, advertisers, viewers and partners -- to celebrate an incredible milestone and set in motion a new era for BET. It’s also the perfect salute to the pioneering achievements of BET founder and chairman Bob Johnson.”