The 2014 BET Awards kicked off at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles Sunday night and came with many surprises.
Pharrell opened the show with “Come Get It Bae.” The crowd went crazy when surprise guest Missy Elliott joined Pharrell for the performance. The “Happy” singer continued his impressive winning streak at award shows after taking home the awards for Video of the Year and Best Male R&B/Pop Artist.
Chris Rock hosted and was not short on funny after he took jabs at Solange Knowles, Jay Z and Rick Ross’ weight. Rock pulled an Ellen DeGeneres move and handed out Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles because pizza wouldn’t suffice at the BET Awards, said the comedian.
Rock really got some reaction from the crowd when introducing Chris Brown to the stage. “Chris Brown just signed a new deal, too bad it was a plea deal,” he joked.
Brown took the stage in a surprise performance of hit song “Loyal” with Lil Wayne and Tyga. The artist let loose and was all smiles. Audience members such as Floyd Mayweather, Future and Pharrell danced and sang along.
Fans on the Twitterverse couldn’t help but comment on Brown’s appearance.
chris brown continues to flourish without showing a bit of i-learned-my-lesson. it’s amazing to watch.—
Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) June 30, 2014
Nicki Minaj had a large presence at the show. She performed her most critically acclaimed single “Pills and Potions.” Minaj went with a more natural look, but still stuck to the dramatics as she elevated out of a massive mushroom in an “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired set. Minaj also won Best Female Hip Hop Artist and accepted the award with an intense rant. The rapper through some shade at Iggy Azalea and thanked BET for giving an award to a female artist who wrote her own lyrics, which got some boos and cheers from the audience. “When you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it,” she said.
Gabrielle Union and Regina Hall presented the first award of the night for Best New Artist to August Alsina, who shed some tears while receiving the award. Alsina also won the Viewer’s Choice Award.
Lil Wayne performed complete with a blinged-out grill, with most of the song bleeped out and heavy drums on the background. John Legend performed his hit song “You and I” and then took to the keys while Jhené Aiko sang.
On the red carpet “Think Like A Man Too” star Gary Owens told Variety that he hadn’t met Mike Tyson before and was nervous to present with him. Onstage, they presented the award for Best Hip Hop Artist to Drake. Owens got some laughs when he shouted, “Started from the bottom,” quoting Drake’s hit while he accepted the award on behalf of him, who did not attend.
Usher performed and resembled Davy Crockett with an interesting fur hat. The musician sang hit songs like “Confessions,” “You Remind Me,” and the energy in the room took off when he sang “You Don’t Have to Call” and “Caught Up.”
Usher had one of the most crowd-pleasing performances. The singer played the drums and sang his new record “Good Kisser.” Although, his background dancer may or may not have received most of the attention with her white fur boots.
Kevin Hart did what he does best and parodied “Scandal” with Kerry Washington, while presenting Video of the Year.
“I’m Oliver Pope,” said Hart. The comedian said he had a scandal of his own and was in a relationship with the president of BET and Olivia Pope’s brother.
In another BET surprise, Chris Brown returned to the stage to perform alongside August Alsina and Trey Songz. This collaboration seemed to have put R&B back on the map from what fans said on Twitter.
Songz took over the set for his own performance of “Na Na.” Things got steamy, to say the least, with his dancers dressed in fishnets and lingerie.
Pharrell appeared back onstage to present Lionel Richie with the lifetime achievement award.
Before Richie could except his award, John Legend lent his vocals for Richie’s famous hits “Hello” and “Still.” Ledisi continued the tribute and rocked out to “Brick House” in a bright pink jacket.
“Soul is a feeling, not a color,” said Richie.
He thanked the Commodores and Barry Gordy. “Without the Commodores I would not be standing on this stage right now.”
Rock poked fun at T.I., who recently got in a physical altercation with boxer Floyd Mayweather, before he got on stage with Iggy Azalea.
Azalea did not seem to impress. The rapper was either lip-synching or rapping over a pre-recorded track that overpowered her voice during her hit “Fancy.”
Young Money received the Best Group award. Nicki Minaj gracefully accept the award saying that this is family and that she was honored to be in Lil Wayne’s presence. Weezy got a little too excited and smashed the mic stand, while screaming “Young mula baby!”
BET slowed it down and got sensual with old school hits like “I Want to Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd and “Freak Me” by Silk.
Phylicia Rashad paid tribute to Ruby Dee and Maya Angelou who both passed away in the last month. A short tribute to Bobby Womack followed with a performance by Tyrese.
Robin Thicke once again belted out a ballad called “Forever Love” for his estranged wife Paula Patton. The singer has been on an open mission to get his wife back. Thicke flashed “Paula” in large letters on a big screen after the performance with a photo of the two kissing.
And in a final surprise, Beyonce and Jay Z closed out the award show with taped performance from the couple’s On the Run tour with Beyonce’s song “Partition.” Beyonce also won the award for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, as well as Best Collaboration with husband Jay Z for “Drunk in Love.”
Full list of winners
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
Pharrell Williams (Winner)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Young Money (Winner)
August Alsina featuring Trinidad Jame$ – “I Luv This”
Beyoncé featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love” (Winner)
Drake featuring Majid Jordan – “Hold On (We’re Going Home”)
Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams – “Blurred Lines”
YG featuring Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan – “My Hitta”
Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj (Winner)
Video of the Year
Beyoncé – “Partition”
Beyoncé featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”
Chris Brown – “Fine China”
Drake – “Worst Behavior”
Pharrell Williams – “Happy” (Winner)
Video Director of the Year
Hype Williams (Winner)
Best New Artist
August Alsina (Winner)
Rich Homie Quan
Best Gospel Artist
Tamela Mann (Winner)
Lupita Nyong’o (Winner)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Winner)
Michael B. Jordan
KeKe Palmer (Winner)
“12 Years a Slave” (Winner)
“The Best Man Holiday”
“Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain”
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Serena Williams (Winner)
Subway Sportsman of the Year
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Kevin Durant (Winner)
Aloe Blacc – “The Man”
Jennifer Hudson featuring T.I. – “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel)”
Jhené Aiko – “The Worst” (Winner)
LiV Warfield – “Why Do You Lie?”
Wale featuring Sam Dew – “LoveHate Thing”
Best International Act: Africa
Davido (Nigeria) (Winner)
Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
Mafikizolo (South Africa)
Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
Best International Act: UK
Krept & Konan (Winner)