At the 16th annual BET Awards last night held in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, with explosive performances, powerful speeches and moving tributes. Hosted by ‘Blackish’ stars Tracey Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, the show moved quickly through the complexity that was black culture in the past year.
Ross and Anderson provided great hosting duties
Performances by Beyonce, Kendrick Lemar, Alicia Keys, Usher and more brought the crowd to their feet. A tribute to actor Samuel L Jackson was introduced by his friend Spike Lee. Jackson thanked his team behind the scenes, his aunt and family that started him in acting as a young child, and his wife and daughter.
Actor Jesse Williams from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ received the BET Humanitarian award and delivered a scathing speech decrying racism that stunned and excited the crowd. Williams speech and passion indicated that a new leader in the fight against racism has arrived.
Several musicians and actors spoke out against gun violence and urged viewers to be sure to get out and vote.
After seeing Madonna’s tepid tribute to Prince in the Billboard Awards, BET posted a simple Message: “We saw that. We Got you”. Last night they delivered.
BET had multiple performances honoring Prince thought the night, featuring Erykah Badu, Bilal, Maxwell, Stevie Wonder, Tori Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Janelle Monet, and closing out with Shiela E. with an explosive medley of her songs and some Prince hits. Jerome Benton from The Time even came out and danced with Shiela E. At the end of her set, Shiela stood center stage with Prince’s ex-wife Myte Garcia Standing behind her as Shiela held up one of Prince’s guitars. Sheila looked like she was barely holding in her emotions.