12/13/2011 10:03 am ET | Updated Dec 13, 2011

'BET Honors': Maya Angelou, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, & Spike Lee Among This Year's Honorees

"BET Honors" the cable network's annual celebration of African Americans who have achieved greatness in music, the arts and education, returns next month for the fifth consecutive year.

Hosted by actress Gabrielle Union the event will recognize the outstanding lifetime achievements of world renowned poet/author Maya Angelou, acclaimed singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, Grammy Award-winner Mariah Carey, filmmaker Spike Lee, The Tuskegee Airmen and inspirational coach Beverly Kearney.

Previous recipients include Cicely Tyson, Jamie Foxx, Iman, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sean "Diddy" Combs and past performances by Trey Songz, Ne-yo, Nas, Yolanda Adams, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Patti LaBelle, among others.

Performers for this year's event and televised air date will be announced in the coming weeks. The 2012 "BET Honors" will take place at Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. on January 15.