Bruno Mars performs onstage at 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Bruno Mars performs onstage at 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Receiving his award for Best Male R&B/Pop Artist at the 2017 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 25), Bruno Mars showered love on the network and former BET president of programming Stephen Hill.

Accepting the award from Jamie Foxx, Mars noted, "The first award I ever won was a Soul Train award right here on this network … BET has shown me nothing but love and support of my career throughout the years."

He went on to thank BET Networks chairman/CEO Debra Lee and producer Jesse Collins before mentioning Hill, who shocked the industry with his resignation in March after 18 years with the company.

"A special shout-out to my friend Mr. Stephen Hill, who personally flew out to tell me, 'Bruno, I need you at the BET Awards this year.' He came to my concert," Mars shared. "Steve, no matter where you go in life, I know you're gonna find success because you've got too much soul and too much passion."

Mars -- who also won Video of the Year for "24K Magic" (tied with Beyonce's "Sorry") -- opened the awards show with a boisterous performance of “Perm.”

Watch Bruno Mars' full acceptance speech for Best Male R&B/Pop Artist: