On Friday (June 29th), we reported that Lauryn Hill had pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion in the past decade, which means she faces up to three years in prison and $75,000 in fines. However serious the situation may be, comedian Mike Epps and boy band Mindless Behavior picked their award presentation for Best R&B Artist at the BET Awards on Sunday night as the opportunity to crack a joke about Ms. Hill.
Needless to say, when Epps began to jokingly sing on stage, prompting one of the members of Mindless Behavior to say, “You sing bad… like Lauryn Hill’s tax accountant bad”, gasps were had in the star-studded audience.
Beyoncé, who actually won the award, took exception, and, as TMZ claims, altered her planned acceptance speech to defend the Grammy award-winning Fugees star.
“I want to thank all the talented R&B women that came before me like Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige,” she said.
B wasn’t content with just paying tribute to Ms. Hill, however. She reportedly vented to a BET handler that Epps and Mindless Behavior’s joke was “disrespectful” and “not cool”, adding, “I just felt [the diss] was wrong”.