DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, YG and Kirk Franklin all hit the stage to celebrate the rapper, who died in March. The tribute included a performance of the song “Higher,” which was recorded by Khaled, Hussle and Legend.
“Long live Nipsey Hussle,” Khaled said on stage.
The artists ended their tribute with a projected image of Hussle and Kobe Bryant together. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among the nine passengers who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, hours earlier.
Hussle scored three posthumous nominations for this year’s award ceremony.
He won a Best Rap Performance Grammy for his song “Racks in the Middle,” featuring Ricch and Hit-Boy, and a Best Rap/Sung Performance Grammy for “Higher.” “Racks In The Middle” also scored a nomination in the Best Rap Song category.
The late rapper filmed the music video for “Higher” shortly before his death. Khaled announced in May that the video, which was released that month, was a “gift from my brother Nipsey that we want to share with the world.”
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed outside his store, Marathon Clothing, in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles in March. He was celebrated for his efforts to revitalize the South Los Angeles community where he was raised.
Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson called Hussle an “icon and West Coast hero.”
In June, Hussle was posthumously honored with the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards.
Hussle’s first studio album, “Victory Lap,” scored a nomination for Best Rap Album for the 2019 Grammy Awards.