BET Awards extends Black voices
The BET Awards served as an extension of the voices of Black people protesting in the streets, as artists used their performances to highlight the
Black Lives Matter movement, civil rights and the lives of those lost because of police officers, including George Floyd.
DaBaby, with his face pressed against the ground as an officer’s knee crippled his neck — replicating the last moments of Floyd’s life — rapped a verse from the Black Lives Matter remix of his hit song “Rockstar.”
Sunday’s show, a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic, featured a number of highly produced, well-crafted and pre-taped performances. The BET Awards kicked off with Black artists rapping and singing anthems about the Black experience and fighting for equal rights.
The 12-year-old sensation Keedron Bryant started the show with an a cappella performance of his poignant song “I Just Wanna Live,” which earned him a record deal. That was followed by an all-star performance of Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem “Fight the Power,” featuring Nas, Black Thought, Rapsody and YG adding new lyrics to the song, even namedropping Breonna Taylor and others.
Michelle Obama highlighted Beyoncé’s commitment to the Black community before presenting her with the humanitarian award, saying: “You can see it in everything she does, from her music that gives voice to Black joy and Black pain, to her activism that demands justice for Black lives.”
Beyoncé used her speech to encourage viewers to vote “like our life depends on it” in the upcoming election.
Sunday’s show celebrated BET’s 20th awards show and BET’s 40th year as a network. The threehour event, which aired on CBS for the first time, was hosted by comedian, actress and TV personality Amanda Seales.
Fellow musicians and fans alike are criticizing country artists who performed at outdoor concerts this weekend where social media pictures showed large, tight crowds without masks, even as COVID-19 cases resurge in the United States.
Country singer Chase Rice posted video of his concert in East Tennessee with the words “We Back,” on the same week state health officials reported the biggest one-day jump in people testing positive for the coronavirus.
Country star Kelsea Ballerini called Rice “selfish” for risking people’s health by playing in front of a large crowd. Americana star Jason Isbell also indirectly piled on, saying some country artists were “so broke” they played concerts over the weekend “regardless of what might happen to their non-isolated, maskless audience!”
A representative for Rice said he declined to comment over the weekend. But the owner of the venue where Rice played said the concert was approved by both city and county officials.
The shutdown on Broadway has been extended again — until at least early January. Although an exact date for performances to resume has yet to be determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for shows through Jan. 3.
June 30 birthdays:
Actress Nancy Dussault is 84. Bassist Stanley Clarke is 69. Actor David Garrison is 68. Actor David Alan Grier is 64. Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is 61. Actress Deirdre Lovejoy is 58. Actress Monica Potter is 49. Actress Molly Parker is 48. Actress Lizzy Caplan is 38. Singer Fantasia Barrino is 36.
In this video grab issued Sunday, Beyonce accepts the humanitarian award during the BET Awards.