With its 21 years of stellar cultural moments, the BET Awards has become one of the few outlets where Black excellence is unapologetically on display for mainstream audiencesr. With Taraji P. Henson returning to host the show this year, the BET Awards were definitely in good hands.
The BET Red Carpet Live! pre-show was hosted by Terrance J and Pretty Vee along with DJ Jae Murphy who caught with the celebs as they hit the red carpet and showed off their best looks. Amanda Booz hosted celebrities in the Dove VIP Lounge where Black hair and beauty was amplified. Comedian extraordinaire Affion Crockett held down the BET Awards Red Carpet Twitter Live Stream Show which tapped into the chatter on Black Twitter streets throughout the night.
F.LY. featuring Easton performance of "Swag Surfin" started the evening off with a bang. Artists Capella Grey, Juvenile, Pheelz, Saucy Santana, and Victoria Monet got everyone in the mood with dope performances on the red carpet at the BET Red Carpet Live! pre-show.
Once the main event popped off, artists took moments in their own way to draw attention to the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and an individual's right to abortion, should they choose. In strides to be as inclusive as possible, the show welcomed J.C. Smith, a ASL advocate, to utilize sign language alongside MC Lyte.
With a variety of new awards celebrating the fullness of Black achievement across varying pockets of the entertainment industry, this years award show is set to be one of the most inclusive. Here are some of the best moments from the 2022 BET Awards this evening:
Lizzo let us know that it's "About Damn Time" with her opening performance
With a body positive performance putting plus-sized bodies on pedestals, Lizzo stunned in all gold while playing her flute in a disco-themed version of her latest song "About Damn Time."
Jazmine Sullivan won Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
While receiving her award, Sullivan called on all men who have ever "benefitted from a woman" to stand up for women, especially Black women. She continued saying that Black women have the backs of Black men and will go just as hard for them.
Jack Harlow did his homework and gave Brandy her shine
Following a brief performance with Lil Wayne and DJ Drama, Harlow brought out "The Vocal Bible" Brandy to perform her remix of his song "First Class." The internet previously gave him a run for his money after he did an interview in which he stated that he had no idea that Brandy and Ray J were siblings.
Latto won Best New Artist
Atlanta-bred rapper Latto ran to the stage to receive the award for Best New Artist. In a tearful speech, she gave props to BET for giving her her first award and to the other artists that she shared the category with.
Maverick City and Kirk Franklin came through with a dynamite performance
In a rousing rendition of "Kingdom" merged with "Melodies From Heaven," the notable Gospel choir with the help of Franklin had the audience on their feet and ready to worship.
Best Collaboration Award went to "Essence"
Wizkid feat. Justin Bieber & Tems's hit song "Essence (Remix)" finally got its just due for being one of the hottest songs of last summer.
Afrobeats showed up at the BET Awards in a big way
Fireboy DML performed on the BET Awards's first ever Afrobeats stage with two of his bangers, including "Peru."
Doechii persuaded us all that she's not to be played with
The rising superstar performed her latest single "Persuasion" and "Crazy" with major energy and killer choreography.
Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award went to Lil Baby and Kirk Franklin
The unlikely but hype duo took home this award for their joint efforts on "We Win." In his speech, Kirk Franklin called for those with the ability to to pass the baton to older generations and to give them a moment to shine. He then passed along the award to Maverick City who he believed were most deserving of the award.
BET Her Award was bestowed upon Auntie Mary J. Blige
Continuing to receive her flowers Mary J. Blige received the award for her song “Good Morning Gorgeous.”
Tems took home the Best International Act
Nigerian artist Tems gave a speech about empowering women all over the world to dream big and take her win "as a sign" to go after whatever they want to achieve.
Mariah blessed The Lambs with an appearance
During Latto's set, she brought out Mariah Carey for her remix of "Big Energy." Can you say boss B?
The category was love in a Pride month tribute
Billy Porter, along with a host of special guests, paid tribute to House music, ballroom culture and the Black queer community in a special dance performance.
Sean "Diddy" Combs receives BET's Lifetime Achievement Award
With reflections from Jay-Z, Babyface and Kanye West coupled with a grand performance including Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes, Shyne, Bryson Tiller and Faith Evans, Brother Love was given a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.
At the end of his lengthy but fiery speech, he pledged $2 million each to Howard University and Jackson State to help uplift those institutions in their endeavors.