Kanye West popped up for a rare appearance ... this time at the 2022 BET Awards ... to pay tribute to his favorite artist -- Diddy.
Kanye made a surprise appearance Sunday night, at L.A.'s Microsoft Theater ... dressed head to toe in black.
Ye took the stage to honor Sean "Diddy" Combs, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Kanye gave a lengthy speech ... calling Diddy his favorite artist and talking about the impact he's had on his own life.
Kanye said, "I go to him for advice to this day. He inspires so many of my choices, so many of my life choices. My wife choices". He also let folks know he's taking a hiatus and wanted to "declare myself dead" .... but says, he wanted to make sure he was there for Diddy.
Even though Diddy and Kim split in 2007, they stayed close friends, co-parenting their 3 children. He honored her with the song, “I’ll Be Missing You” with Faith Evans, saying, "Baby girl, this is for you... I miss you so much, baby."