Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Last night marked the 20th anniversary of the annual American award show 'The BET Awards'. The event was hosted by Comedian, Actress, DJ and Television personality Amanda Seales who opened the show with a moving monologue which explained the importance of this years show and it's pertinent theme "Our Culture Can't Be Cancelled."
Despite them having to go virtual for this years ceremony it still managed to be a night to remember with the show being more poignant and crucial than ever with inspiring speeches and powerful performances from the likes of John Legend, Roddy Rich, Megan Thee Stallion, Jenifer Hudson and many more.
Below we have constructed a list of some of the most memorable moments of the evening!
Michelle Obama Presenting Beyonce with the Humanitarian Award
Former First Lady Michelle Obama virtually presented pop icon Beyonce Knowles with one of the biggest awards of the night - The Humanitarian Award, for her charitable efforts and activism. Obama commended her efforts to call out racism and sexism and flawless said "She's always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bigger, better, a little more fierce." And in Beyonce's acceptance speech she expressed her gratitude to those who have shown support to the Black Lives Matter movement and called upon people to "continue to take action" and "continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system", urging those in the US to show up and vote in the upcoming November election.
DaBaby and Roddy Ricch perform a Black Lives Matter remix of their hit song 'Rockstar'
The music video begun with a shot of DaBaby with his face on the pavement which slowly panned out to reveal an image of a Police officer kneeling on his neck whilst he rapped the new remixed intro of the song, directly imitating the tragedy that occurred to George Floyd this May. The video then showed a scene of protesters wearing masks and tops that read 'I am George Floyd', 'I am Breonna Taylor' and 'I am Trayvon Martin' and the final shot showing a card that reads 'In loving memory to all the lives lost to racism and Police brutality.'
Overall, the performance didn't hold back in showcasing the pairs frustration and anger, the alternative verses in the remix describing their personal experiences with racism and the law as well as honouring the wider Black Lives Matter movement.
Lil Waynes Tribute to Kobe Bryant
Lil Wayne honoured NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash alongside his 13 year old daughter this January, by performing a musical tribute of his 2009 song 'Kobe Bryant.' The performance came shortly after a memorial segment which featured Kobe Bryant and a series of video clips of the lakers star playing on the court. Lil Wayne also adapted the song slightly, adding in lyrics such as "My heart goes out to Vanessa and the whole Black Mamba family" and ending the song with "Rest in power/ Let's hope for peace/ Black lives matter, facts" followed by a clip of Bryant in his uniform saying "Mamba out."
Chloe X Halle's Virtual Performance of 'Forgive Me' and 'Do It'
Chloe X Halle made jaws drop with their performance of hit songs 'Forgive Me' and 'Do It' from their brand new album 'Ungodly Hour.' They opened their two-song set with 'Forgive Me' wearing black latex outfits that mirrored the ones on their latest album cover then they delved into their first top 100 hit 'Do It' wearing matching white outfits, closing the performance with the two sets appearing side by side, showing two Chloe's and two Halle's all dancing together. The duo took the world by storm with their hard hitting choreography, impressive harmonies, multiple costume changes and two different set designs that replicated the sets from each songs music video - its safe to say the R&B sisters took their virtual performance to a whole new level.
Throughout the event we also witnessed numerous artists receive awards for the very first time, the likes of Lizzo winning Best R&B/Pop Artist, stripping Beyonce of her six year reign in the category, DaBaby winning Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, beating four-time winner Drake and Megan Thee Stallion snatching the title of Best Female Hip-Hop Artist over Cardi B who had one the last two years and seven time winner Nicki Minaj.
Other record setters include Michael B Jordan winning Best Actor for the third time now, meaning he is tied with Denzel Washington for most wins in the category's history.
Overall, this years BET awards was a success, despite the Coronavirus pandemic they managed to put on an event that featured numerous well crafted performances as well as successfully shining a light on the pressing issues affecting black communities across the world.
If you missed last nights BET Awards, fear not, catch all the virtual performances on the BET Network YouTube channel!