At the BET Awards 2022 ceremony on Sunday, many young artists paid their respects to veteran artists, as well as nationally hot topics like Roe vs. Wade and gun safety.
Returning to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the high-profile show was hosted by Empire star Taraji P. Henson, who said the evening was designed to celebrate “Black Excellence.” The ceremony began with Lizzo’s electric performance of her summer hit It’s About Damn Time, which featured the singer’s viral, TikTok-famous choreography.
Here’s a look at some of the other key moments from the night:
Janelle Monáe freaks out in front of the US Supreme Court
The overturning of the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling by the US Supreme Court was on the mind of Henson, the contestants, the winners, and even the show’s “In memoriam” segment. And musician Janelle Monáe was among those who bravely blasted the court’s overturning of the landmark case and its implications for abortion rights, women and pregnant people across the country.
Monáe took the stage to present the award for an R&B/Pop Artist and began her speech by recognizing Black Music Month and Pride Month in owning our truth and expressing ourselves freely and uncompromisingly in a world that seeks to embrace ours body, my body, our choices, my choice to control and monitor.”
The “I Like That” singer then dropped an F-bomb, though it was censored during the show.
“F- you, Supreme Court,” Monáe said, holding up her middle finger. “I know we’re celebrating like we should right now. We absolutely deserve to celebrate, especially now we must celebrate our art by protecting our rights and truths.”
Monáe then presented the award to Jazmine Sullivan, who spoke “directly to the men” during her speech.
“We need you all. We need you all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us. If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the most difficult decisions of her life—terminating an abortion—you need to stop. It’s not just a women’s issue. That’s for everyone. We need your support now more than ever,” Sullivan said.
Ye almost outshines Diddy
Veteran artists Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Shyne, Faith Evans, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes, The Lox and even Diddy himself gave an all-star tribute to the founder of Bad Boy Records. Sean “Diddy” Combs was the recipient of the ceremony Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Ye, the latter of whom has been flying under the radar since April after abruptly withdrawing from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival due to a spate of personal issues.
Yes’s performance – although heavily overshadowed by his clothing choices – marked his first appearance at an awards show since he was sidelined from the Grammy Awards earlier this year.
“I took a little break. I said, ‘I just want to declare myself legally dead for a year. nobody misses me I just want to be off the grid. You know… but Puff is quite persistent,” Ye said in his signature rambling style, explaining why he was there.
“If Puff ever needs us, we’ve got to jump and be there. This man has been through a lot and survived, knocked down many doors for us to stand – I know to myself that I could be here today.
The “Heartless” rapper, who legally changed his name from Kanye West, said he showed up on Sunday to support his longtime friend and “favorite artist,” and angered the crowd when he appeared to refer to his ex-wife Kim Kardashian related. although she was declared legally single in March during her lengthy divorce proceedings
“Back then there were so many rules in hip-hop and he broke them all. And all doors smashed open and contracts understood in a way that many of us still don’t understand. Understood money in a way that many of us still don’t understand. I still take his advice to this day. He inspires so many of my decisions, so many of my life decisions, my wife’s decisions,” Ye said to a cheering crowd, adding with a chuckle, “And here we are… thanks for that Puff.”
Mariah Carey has this “big energy” with Latto
Latto, who was crowned best new artist of the night and also lamented the fall of Roe, climbed the charts with “Big Energy,” which samples Mariah Carey’s 1995 hit single “Fantasy.” During the show, the Atlanta rapper began her performance with a smoke and noir rendition of “It’s Givin,” which led into “Big Energy,” which began as usual — until she rapped “Hold up / Got Mimi on the remix.” ‘ and made way for the newly formed Songwriters Hall of Fame siren to take the stage and sing the upbeat jam.
The surprise collaboration got the crowd – including Lizzo and Brandy – on their feet.
The Brandy-Jack Harlow collaboration we didn’t know we needed
Speaking of brandy, the ’90s hitmaker was also one of the surprise artists.
She re-introduced herself to young Jack Harlow fans on Sunday after the rapper snubbed her with “Industry Baby” during an interview in May and demoted the R&B darling to “Ray J’s sister.” While she performed “First Class” on Sunday, Harlow stepped aside to allow the “Sitting Up in My Room” and “I Wanna Be Down” singer to rap her freestyle response — which he apparently loved — and more basics for her burgeoning rap career.
Jussie Smollett hits the red carpet after serving her jail sentence
Former ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett walked the red carpet at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, apparently to promote his directorial debut on BET+, ‘B-Boy Blues’ – his first major appearance since being convicted and serving a sentence Lying to the Chicago Police Department in 2019.
The 2015 BET Award nominee served six days of his 150-day sentence for disorderly conduct and was released from prison in March. Though he has maintained his innocence, not everyone was happy to see the embattled actor-musician, who is believed to have orchestrated a hate crime against himself.
Smollett, who recently said he didn’t know how broad the backlash against him was, was dragged onto Twitter for Sunday’s appearance with memes and targeted tweets, many urging the network to help him make a comeback.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-06-27/ms-2022-bet-awards-kanye-west-janelle-monae-brandy-mariah-carey-jussie-smollett 5 moments from 2022 BET Awards: From Janelle Monáe to Kanye