Then, Ledisi took over, performing "Brick House, The Commodores' 1977 hit. Finally, Yolanda Adams sang "Jesus Is Love," which earned her a standing ovation.
"After iistening to 'Jesus Is Love,' I'm glad I sang the song first. Otherwise, I would not be up here. That was absolutely amazing," Richie said when accepting the award. "Everyone did a great job."
"These are all the songs that they told me would ruin my career," Richie continued.
BET Awards 2014: Stars on the Red Carpet!
"Soul is a feeling, not a color. Talent is a God-given gift and not a category. And out of the box, out of the box is that magical place where talent -- true talent -- goes to live and thrive and breathe. And may you never give that up as long as you're in this business," he added, and thanked The Commodores, Berry Gordy and more.
After his speech, Richie headed to the piano for "Easy Like Sunday Morning." Following that, he jumped up and finished his performance with the favorite "All Night Long."
Watch his performance below.
BET Awards 2014 Video