Music & Culture

Here’s What Went Down at the 2020 BET Awards

We know, we know — it’s been a minute since you’ve seen a headline about an awards show. Large-scale events have been pretty much non-existent since the start of the pandemic, but last night (June 28), some of your favorite artists came together virtually for the 2020 BET Awards. And although the show was certainly different from years past, a lot went down.

Hosted by Amanda Seales, the three-hour event celebrated the best of Black artistry in music while highlighting racial injustice in America. The evening kicked off with a performance by Keedron Bryant of his moving anthem “I Just Wanna Live.” Immediately following, rap heavyweights Nas, Black Thought, YG, Rapsody, and more joined Public Enemy for a more modern version of the group’s classic track “Fight the Power.”

The night only got more powerful from there. D Smoke and SiR came together to perform their song “Let Go,” which was recorded the day of George Floyd‘s death, and DaBaby and Roddy Ricch teamed up for a performance of “Rockstar “(Black Lives Matter).” In it, DaBaby reenacted Floyd’s devastating death with a cop’s knee on his neck. By the end, he and Ricch joined a group of Black protesters pushing for much-needed change.

In addition to Ricch’s performance with DaBaby, he also performed his songs “High Fashion” and “The Box.” But the excitement didn’t end there for the rapper. He also won the award for Album of the Year for his LP, Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial. Many other popular acts earned awards as well, including Lizzo for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Migos for Best Group, DaBaby for Best Hip-Hop Artist, and Megan Thee Stallion for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist.

And speaking of Megan Thee Stallion, she took an ATV trip into the desert for a blazing performance of her new song “Girls in the Hood,” as well as everyone’s favorite TikTok hit “Savage.” And even though the rapper performed the track without Beyoncé, who collaborated with her on the remix, the performance was high-energy and one of the most unforgettable of the night.

Megan wasn’t the only powerful woman to absolutely crush the BET Awards, though. Twitter could not stop talking about Chloe x Halle‘s performance, which included two of the duo’s new songs, “Forgive Me” and “Do It,” as well as their flawless vocal runs and riffs.

Between the stellar performances and the powerful messages about racial inequality and police brutality in America that will surely go down in history, the 2020 BET Awards was a night to remember. And the evening was made all the more special through tributes to those we’ve lost, including basketball legend Kobe Bryant and pop music icon Little Richard. Later, Beyoncé had the honor of receiving the Humanitarian Award by Michelle Obama.

“Thank you so much for this beautiful honor,” Beyoncé said. “I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring change. Your voices are being heard, and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”

“Now, we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote,” the music icon continued. “I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together. Continue to fight for each other and lift each other up.”

After explaining that there are people “banking” on the Black community staying home rather than hitting the polls, Beyoncé told those watching that “we have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does.”

Of course, that’s only some of what you may have missed if you didn’t tune in to the 2020 BET Awards. For more performances from artists including Summer Walker, Usher, Kane Brown, Alicia Keys, Anderson .Paak, John Legend and more, click here.

Featured Image: BET