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Biggie Smalls’ 20-Year-Old Son Pays Tribute to His Father in Rare Appearance: ‘I Live My Life by His Words’

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The son of the late rapper Biggie Smalls made a rare appearance on Sunday’s 2017 Billboard Music Awards to pay tribute to his father on what would have been the star’s 45th birthday.

Christopher Jordan “C.J.” Wallace, 20, took the stage at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena to honor his father.

The young star, who is pursuing a career as a rapper as well, was born to mom Faith Evans just months before Smalls (né Christopher Wallace) was murdered in 1997.

“I know my father is looking down on all of us tonight,” he said of the iconic New York City emcee, also known to fans as the Notorious B.I.G. “And all of this love and support, my sister and I carry on his name with tremendous pride, and [I] live my life by his words.”

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C.J.’s heartfelt words came after Sean “Diddy” Combs looked back on the life of his slain friend.

Check out PEOPLE’s full 2017 Billboard Music Awards coverage.

The 47-year-old mogul also premiered the official trailer for Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story — the new documentary film that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the history of Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment, and how Smalls’ death fueled the tight family at the label.

Kevin Mazur/BBMA2017/Getty Images for dcp

The movie, directed by Daniel Kaufman, features never-before-seen footage of the Bad Boy Family as they reunite to celebrate the label’s 20th anniversary. It also traces how Bad Boy influenced and reshaped music, fashion, marketing and culture.

It’s slated to be released on Apple Music on June 25.

“I knew this was a story that should be shared with the world,” Combs said in a statement sent after Sunday’s appearance. “Heather Parry and Live Nation Productions, and director Daniel Kaufman helped create this very special documentary. Now I’m blessed to also be working with Apple Music to showcase the film and share Bad Boy’s history and impact with fans. The support Live Nation, Apple Music and everyone on the team has given to this project is a true testament to the Bad Boy legacy.”

FROM PEN: Grammy News and Notes: Album of the Year Nominees

In addition to music, Wallace has dabbled in movies, starring as a young Smalls in the 2009 biopic about his father, Notorious. Other film credits include the 2010 Will Ferrell film Everything Must Go and the 2016 flick Kicks. 

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards aired Sunday on ABC.