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Beyoncé’s message, epic performances stand out at BET Awards


LOS ANGELES (AP) – Beyoncé used her platform on Sunday while accepting the BET humanitarian prize to relay a direct call to viewers: go vote.

“Your voices are heard and you prove to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain,” said superstar singer at the BET Awards, who celebrated 20 years of excellence in black-led entertainment. But the ceremony, filmed practically because of the coronavirus pandemic, kept much of its attention on subjects such as systematic racism and equal rights.

Beyoncé was honored for her philanthropic work and relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. She said voting in the next election was the way to end a “racist and unequal system” in America.

“I encourage you to act,” 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 keep moving forward.

“We have to vote as if our lives depend on it, because it is,” she said.

Here are some additional highlights from the three-hour show on CBS, BET and BET Her:

MESSAGE FROM DaBABY

Rapper DaBaby was lying on the sidewalk while an actor playing a policeman pressed his knee to the rapper’s neck.

The early re-enactment of the multi-platinum rapper offered a glimpse of the last moments in the life of George Floyd, who was 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 ceremony.

While holding a baseball bat, DaBaby then stood on a stage behind a group of people with their fists raised high while others displayed “Black Lives Matter” signs.

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Her performance also included images of protests, a reflection of the world today following the death of Floyd and the deaths of others, including Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

WEEZY HONORS KOBE

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 greatest moments of the NBA icon. 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 wove new words as Bryant’s # 8 and # 24 paraded behind him. His performance featured video clips of the Los Angeles Lakers star diving into Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, hitting winning streaks and highlights from his 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

“I call him King Bryant,” says Wayne. “Now let the crown show.”

LITTLE RICHARD BOP

Wayne Brady has gone from his normal actor-comedian to the flamboyant character of the late Little Richard.

Wearing a gold sequined tuxedo, Brady emulated his best during a tribute to Richard, who died of bone cancer in May. He rolled on top of a piano singing medley hits from Richard, considered one of the main architects of rock’n’roll.

“Shut up!” Brady let out in the same way as Richard. Some of Richard’s successes that Wayne performed included “Lucy”, “Good Golly”, “Miss Molly” and “Tutti Frutti”.

Crazy stallion

Megan Thee Stallion took the desert in a performance on the theme of the movies “Mad Max”.

Wearing a feathered crop top, she danced and twerked alongside her dancers who wore masks and maintained social distance in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. She performed her hit hit by Beyoncé “Savage Remix” and “Girls in the Hood”, a rework of E Easy’s 1987 song “Boyz-N-The Hood”.

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In the post-apocalyptic setting, she and her dancers toured the desert landscape on dusty mountain bikes. The rapper ended his performance after jumping on a silver tipped vehicle.

Megan Thee Stallion’s performance came after she won the best female hip-hop artist.

OPENING IN AGITATION

It didn’t take long for the host of Amanda Seales to address the equal rights of African Americans.

In a moving monologue, Seales said she was chosen to host the show because it “told everyone about racism.” She touched on several topics, including the death of Breonna Taylor, racial equality, and took a hit on actor Terry Crews who recently suffered a backlash for his commentary on “black supremacy”.

Seales joked that she preferred to talk about issues other than race, but “racism always beats me.”

Her monologue came after a star performance from the 1989 Public Enemy anthem “Fight the Power”. The performance starred band members Chuck D and Flavor Flav as well as Nas, Black Thought, Rapsody and YG – who added lyrics to the song and dropped Taylor.

During the performance, video clips were shown of national demonstrations against the deaths of unarmed blacks, including Floyd, Arbery and Taylor.

12-year-old sensation Keedron Bryant also performed a capella “I Just Wanna Live”, a song about being a young black man who won him a recording contract.

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Source: AP News

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