Photo: The Source
BET Networks is paying homage to Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle (born Ermias Asghedom) by broadcasting and live-streaming his memorial service today at 1 p.m. EST on BET and BET Digital. The MC, who was gunned down March 31 in Los Angeles near his The Marathon clothing store will have his “Celebration of Life” memorial service at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Connie Orlando, Head of Original Programming of BET Networks released a statement regarding the passing of Nipsey:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Nipsey Hussle. Nipsey is part of the BET family and first appeared on the Network in 2009 in a Hip Hop Awards cypher, we share this loss with his millions of fans around the world. From his insurmountable talent to his commitment to reaching back to underserved communities Nipsey’s kind spirit will be sorely missed. We will keep his entire family as well as our BET sister, Lauren London in our thoughts and prayers during this immensely difficult time.”
Reportedly, tickets for the massive gathering were gone in 30 minutes. Tickets for California residents were made free of charge. The Staples Center holds about 21,000 people and the last venue used for a memorial service was for Michael Jackson in July 2009.
Nipsey was loved not only for his music but for his activism and encouragement of entrepreneurship in the Black community. Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Haris-Dawson will honor Nipsey by naming the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard, and West Slauson Avenue Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom Square.
Nipsey is survived by his two children, a two-year-old son named Kross Asghedom that he had with actress Lauren London and his daughter Emani Asghedom from a previous relationship.
Sources: BET & CNN