Last night was the 2016 BET Awards. Just when you think the show was going to only be about music and Prince tribute, they gave us more. Politics and and freedom speeches were put into action. I must say, this was a great inspiring show. See he show highlights below.
The superstar singer opened the show with a rousing rendition of her song “Freedom.” The performance began with a snippet from Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Beyonce and her backup dancers performed in a pool of water. Later, rapper Kendrick Lamar spit his verses on the song before joining the singer in the water.
The song has become an anthem of black pride with lyrics like, “I break chains all by myself/Won’t let my freedom rot in hell/Hey! I’ma keep running/Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.”
Watch the video below before the copyright kicks it off or watch it here
Rapper Desiigner took to stage to perform his hit single “Panda.” However, his performance was a little more than entertaining. In the words of my mother, “Is he on drugs.” Well that you would have to see for yourself.
Watch it here!
Jesse Williams’ inspiring speech
The “Grey’s Anatomy” star accepted speech put everyone on their feet at the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award calling society to task for racism.
Speaking on police-involved shootings of people of color, the actor/activist said he and others have been “looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day.”
“So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours,” said Williams, who was out front during protests in Ferguson following the 2014 shooting death of teen Michael Brown.
Watch it below or watch it here
Politics take center stage
From Usher’s “Don’t Trump America” shirt to references to Brexit and gun control, this year”s show was one of the most political ever.
Debra Lee, chairman and chief executive officer of BET, was just one of many who urged the audience to vote.
“We all need to take a stand against gun violence,” she said. “You can make a difference … at the city, state, and federal levels, know your politicians’ position on gun control. Use your voice and vote.”
Actor Samuel L. Jackson, after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, said, “Make sure you vote and take eight more people with you to vote.”
“Don’t get tricked like they got tricked in England,” Jackson added, referencing that country’s recent vote to leave the European Union.
After a Billboard Music Awards tribute to Prince last month that left many fans unsatisfied, BET vowed to do better.
Sunday night there were multiple tributes throughout the show to the music legend who died April 21 after an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl.
Erykah Badu, The Roots, Bilal, Stevie Wonder and Tori Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Maxwell and Janelle Monáe performed some Prince hits.
But it was Prince’s former collaborator and love Shelia E. who moved many to tears when she closed out the show with several Prince hits, including “Erotic City” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” She was joined on stage by multiple performers who worked with Prince, including his ex-wife Mayte Garcia.
Watch the whole tribute here