The 2016 BET Awards: Entertainment, Soul and Politics

Bet came through with a very entertaining and political show Sunday night. The event presented a great mix of current artists, old school musicians, upcoming stars, humor and a spotlight on positive leaders in the black community. The night had too many amazing moments to count.

Beyoncé’s performance of her powerful song Freedom was one of the best BET Award intros ever. The stage design, dancers, and of course King Kendrick were all amazing. Glad she was able to stop by the awards on her busy tour schedule.

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Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar (Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images)

 

Bryson Tiller winning Best R&B Male artist was a surprise and a great accomplishment; I thought The Weeknd had that in the bag. Tillers whole look and demeanor is very attractive; simple yet fashionable. The performance was okay, based on the fact that songs, Don’t and Exchange are soothing but the vocals were a little struggly.

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Bryson Tiller (BET)

 Desiigner was so energetic and entertaining. His performance was exciting but a little on the psychotic side at times. The memes have already started circulating especially after rapper Fabolous’s hilarious reaction lol.

One of the best moments was the speech from Humanitarian Award recipient, Jesse Williams. If you follow Williams on Twitter then you know of his activism. It was refreshing to hear his unapologetic, call for action against white supremacy, materialism, and his support for black women. Chairman and CEO of BET, Debra Lee, actress Taraji P. Henson, and Samuel L. Jackson also had words about the importance of voting.

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Jesse Williams (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

I didn’t really have an issue with Future’s performance after William’s speech. I understand the problematic transition but I like the song too so sue me. Future needs to work on his stage presence a bit; I know the lyrics are hard to understand on the record but the live performance was even worst.

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Future (Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images)

Usher was lacking a little in the vocals but the dancing was amazing. He looked like someone’s Uncle doing the latest viral dance crazes but he still has amazing skills. He donned a much needed shirt that read “Don’t Trump America” on the back.

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 Usher (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Can we also talk about the come up for these Vine and Instagram stars at the awards? Viral stars Blameitonkway and Jay’La Milan aka lalasizahands89 were in the audience and dancer Leon Akida Burns aka Kida the Great and the Hit Dem Folks squad were part of Usher’s performance.

(Blameitonkway and Lalasizahands89 / Usher with Kida the Great)

The Prince celebration, as BET put it, was everything a legendary artist deserves. Janelle Monae, Maxwell, Stevie Wonder, Tori Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Erykah Badu, Sheila E, the Roots, the background musicians, and Bilal all did an astounding job. Let’s talk about Bilal! I heard of him over the years and got a taste of his vocals on Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp a Butterfly, so I knew he could sing but his performance was stellar!

Jennifer Hudson and Janelle Monae (Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images)

Bilal, Sheila E, Liv Warfield, Elisa Fiorillo, Jerome Benton, and Mayte Garcia (Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images)

The Music Matters stage was also entertaining with artist Bibi Bourelly and Anderson Paak who showed off his electrifying drum skills. The Bailey sister’s, Chole X Halle, had a stage all to themselves for an awesome performance of their single, Drop.

Anderson Paak and Chole X Halle (BET)

This year, the Best Female Hip Hop Artist was not televised. Of course, like the last 5 years or so, Nicki Minaj won. She wasn’t in attendance so that may be the reason why it wasn’t aired. There was no Gospel performance for the second year in a row, though, the award for Best Gospel Artist was aired; Kirk Franklin won.

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Kirk Franklin (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Samuel L Jackson was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented by legendary filmmaker, Spike Lee. Laila Ali also spoke on behalf of her late father, boxing legend, Muhammad Ali.

Samuel L Jackson and Laila Ali (BET)

Every year, BET honors leaders who contribute to the black community with the Shine A Light award. This year’s honoree’s were First Lieutenant Kenyattae H. Ruffin and Marcus Duke.

First Lieutenant Kenyattae H. Ruffin and Marcus Duke (BET)

Bet also showcased their new lineup of programs including, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Being Mary Jane, reality shows, Music Moguls and F in Fabulous, a Nelson Mandela film, a crime-drama entitled Rebel and a New Edition bio series.

 new e(BET)

Below is the full list of winners:

Video of the Year: Beyoncé – Formation

Coca-Cola Viewer’s Choice Awards: Beyoncé – Formation

Female R&B/Pop Artist: Beyonce

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist: Bryson Tiller

Best Female Hip Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj

Best Male Hip Hop Artist: Drake

Best Group: Drake & Future

Best Collaboration: Rihanna featuring Drake – “Work”

Best New Artist: Bryson Tiller

Best Gospel Artist: Kirk Franklin

Best Actress: Taraji P. Henson

Best Actor: Michael B. Jordan

YoungStars Award: Amandla Stenberg

Best Movie: Straight Outta Compton

Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams

Sportsman of the Year: Stephen Curry

Best International Act (Africa): Black Coffee

Best International Act (UK): Skepta

FANdemonium Award: Beyoncé

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