Beyoncé’s message and epic performances stand out at BET Awards
Beyoncé used her platform Sunday while accepting the BET humanitarian award to relay a direct appeal to viewers: Go vote.
“Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain,” said the superstar singer at the BET Awards, which celebrated its 20 years of highlighting excellence in Black-led entertainment. But the ceremony, filmed virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, kept much of its focus on topics such as systemic racism and equal rights.
Beyoncé was honored for her philanthropic work and relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. She said voting in the upcoming election was the way to end a “racist and unequal system” in America.
“I’m encouraging you to take action,” she said following an introduction by former first lady Michelle Obama.
The singer dedicated her award to the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraged activists to continue to push forward.
“We have to vote like our lives depend on it, because it does,” she said.
Rapper DaBaby lay on the pavement while an actor playing a police officer pressed his knee on the rapper’s neck.
The reenactment at the beginning of the multiplatinum rapper’s performance offered a glimpse into the last moments of the life of George Floyd, killed by Minneapolis police last month. DaBaby rapped a verse from the Black Lives Matter remix of his hit song “Rockstar” with Roddy Ricch at the awards.
On a virtual stage, Lil
Wayne paid tribute to the Black Mamba.
The rapper honored the late Kobe Bryant with a performance of his song “Kobe Bryant,” highlighting the NBA icon’s biggest moments. He paid tribute to Bryant who died in a helicopter crash in January that killed eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Wayne Brady transformed from his normal actor-comedian self into the flamboyant character of the late Little Richard.
Wearing a gold glittery tuxedo, Brady put on his best emulation during a tribute to Richard, who died of bone cancer in
May. Brady rolled around on the top of a piano as he sung a medley hits from Richard, considered one of the chief architects of rock ’n’ roll.
Megan Thee Stallion took to the desert in a performance themed after the “Mad Max” films.
Sporting a feathered crop top, she danced and twerked alongside her dancers who wore masks and maintained social distance.
In the post-apocalyptic setting, she and her dancers rode through the desert landscape on dusty ATVs.
Megan Thee Stallion’s performance came after she won best female hiphop artist.
Beyoncé accepts the BET humanitarian award Sunday.