Black lives celebrated and mourned at BET Awards

Black lives celebrated and mourned at BET Awards
June 29 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 6/29/2020 9:48:35 AM IST

 Black power, suffering and the fight for justice took center stage at the BET awards on Sunday, the first Black celebrity event in the United States since nationwide mass protests broke out this month over systemic racism.

The show, which celebrates Black excellence in music, film, sports and philanthropy, was filled with speeches, songs, images of protests and the names of dozens of Black men and women who have died at the hands of police in recent years.

Pop star Beyonce Knowles, who was given a humanitarian award by former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama for her charitable initiatives, urged the Black community to use its vote in upcoming U.S. elections to dismantle “racist and unequal systems.”

Beyonce’s eight-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter won her first-ever BET Award for her work on the song, “Brown skin girl”.

Ivy won the award for the track from Beyonce’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album that also features Wizkid and Saint Jhn, reports

Lizzo, Roddy Ricch and Megan Thee Stallion were among top the winners who appeared via video to accept their awards.

The awards show, broadcast live for the first time in its 20-year history on America’s mainstream CBS channel, featured commercials from the likes of Coca-Cola, Ford, Nissan, P&G, L’Oreal and Facebook that both celebrated the achievements of Black people and highlighted the challenges they face.

A remixed version of veteran New York rap group Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem “Fight the Power,” featuring photos of this month’s street protests, opened the show, whose slogan was “Our culture can’t be canceled.”

Da Baby’s performance of “Rockstar” began with the rapper singing while lying on the ground under the knee of a police officer, in a recreation of last month’s arrest and death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that sparked the protests.

Newcomer Roddy Ricch wore a “Black Lives Matter” shirt, John Legend played his ballad, “We Will Never Break,” and Alicia Keys sang an emotional new song, “Perfect Way to Die,” about the black lives lost over the decades.

The show was a mix of pre-recorded performances and virtual appearances because of the coronavirus pandemic that shut down production of television shows in mid-March. 

The complete list of winners for the 2020 BET Awards

Video of the year: DJ Khaled featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend, ‘Higher’

Best female R&B/pop artist: Lizzo

Best male R&B/pop artist: Chris Brown

Best female hip-hop artist: Megan Thee Stallion

Best male hip-hop artist: DaBaby

Best new artist: Roddy Ricch

Best group: Migos

Best collaboration: Chris Brown featuring Drake, ‘No Guidance’

Album of the year: Roddy Ricch, ‘Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial’

Humanitarian Award: Beyoncé

Dr Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award: Kirk Franklin, ‘Just for Me’

Best actress: Issa Rae

Best actor: Michael B. Jordan

Best movie: Queen & Slim

Youngstars award: Marsai Martin

Sportswoman of the year: Simone Biles

Sportsman of the year: LeBron James

BET HER award: Beyoncé featuring Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid and Saint JHN, ‘Brown Skin Girl’

Video director of the year: Teyana Taylor

Best international act: Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Viewer’s Choice: Best new international act: Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)                     (Reuters/IANS/Firstpost)


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