After Sunday night’s BET Awards in Los Angeles, the network kept the party going with the world premiere of DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic: BET Awards Edition, the latest installment of the music maestro’s pandemic series that follows the beat as music legends pass the flow from one virtual location to another.
As the show debuted, DJ Cassidy — fresh from joining Ashanti on stage to present the Viewers Choice Award to winners Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé for “Savage (Remix)” — was watching from inside the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge where he hosted an intimate 70-person dinner to celebrate the premiere and his 40th birthday. But the party really got going when DJ Cassidy surprised some of the famous faces in the room with an invitation to jump on the microphone, bringing Pass the Mic to life.
Bowlegged Lou of Full Force broke into the hit from House Party, “Ain’t My Type Of Hype,” before tossing it over to Deniece Willams who captivated the crowd with “Free” and “Let’s Hear It For The Boy.” Howard Hewett of Shalamar turned out two tracks with “For The Lover In You” and “Second Time Around,” and he was followed by Ray Parker Jr. who performed “A Woman Needs Love” as well as the classic title track from Ghostbusters which had the room chanting along.
DJ Cassidy then invited Bobby Brown and Bell Biv DeVoe star Ricky Bell to take a turn in the spotlight. The duo did not disappoint, performing “Mr. Telephone Man” together before Brown went solo on “My Prerogative” and Bell with “Poison.” While the crowd sipped on DeLeón Tequila cocktails, El DeBarge took a seat at the piano to sing his classics “All This Love” and “I Like It.” Later, El DeBarge played piano, Verdine White played bass and Philip Bailey sang during a rendition of “That’s the Way of the World” with Bailey taking a moment to praise El DeBarge. The trio also teamed to close the night with a mic drop moment in “September” and “Rhythm of the Night.”
Treated to the intimate show were such guests as Jimmy Jam, WME partner Richard Weitz (with daughter Demi, son Aidan and wife Candie), music mogul Steve Rifkind, Evan Ross, JB Smoove, celebrity stylist O’Neal McKnight, nightlife gurus Legendary Damon and Allison Melnick, and Cassidy’s girlfriend Kelsey Evenson.