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Rep. Jim Clyburn's Shining Moment with Queen Latifah

It'll be worth tuning into tonight's "BET Honors" just to see Queen Latifah serenading House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) with "Wishing On A Star."

Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress, who is being honored for his "lifetime of public service," tells us, "I didn't know she was performing, they kept it a surprise from me."

The BET awards show was held and taped, fittingly, during the week of President Obama's inauguration and will air tonight on BET at 9 p.m. ET.

Clyburn calls Queen Latifah's performance "amazing."

"From Hill Harper's presentation of the award, to the tribute video and Queen Latifah's performance, I was really humbled by the whole production," says the House Democratic leadership's reigning Southern gent.

Clyburn is being awarded along with R & B singer Mary J. Blige; filmmaker Tyler Perry; dancer Judith Jamison; and basketball great Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who Stevie Wonder serenades with a funky rendition of "Superstition."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 9, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
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