×

17th Annual BET Awards Ceremony Stays Focused on Performances, New Edition Tribute

The biggest weekend in Hip-Hop and R&B concluded on Sunday with the 17th annual BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

“Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones led the night’s festivities, which included musical performances, tributes, and honors. Bruno Mars opened the awards show with a high-energy performance that included his group of dancing bandmates and pyrotechnics.

Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Big Sean, Trey SongzFrench Montana and others also took the stage to perform their biggest hits of the year. Kendrick Lamar joined Future on stage for a surprise remix performance of “Mask Off.” There was also ’90s R&B group Xscape, who performed together for the first time in over a decade, singing a medley of the songs that made them famous, such as “Understanding,” “Who Can I Run To?,” and “Just Kickin’ It.”

The girl group announced earlier this year they will be touring and working on a new TV show, set to air on Bravo.

The award ceremony continued its time-honored tradition of recognizing both new school and old school artists who have left a significant mark on popular culture.

BET president Debra L. Lee honored Chance the Rapper with the Humanitarian Award, noting that “he’s not afraid to speak out and speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

“This is overwhelming,” said the recording artist, who was praised for giving back to the public schools in his native hometown of Chicago. “I’m 24. To be receiving something like this at my age, it feels good. It feels a little early, but my God doesn’t make mistakes. I like to think that he’s putting this pressure on me to see how I react.”

New Edition, who received a three-part biopic mini-series on the network earlier in the year, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The cast including Bryshere Gray and Luke James gave musical tributes to the group before they came onstage to accept their award.

“Back in the days when we first began, I use to tell the guys we’re gonna be successful. I just didn’t know how successful,” said original group member Bobby Brown in his acceptance speech. “I didn’t know how much our fans were gonna stick with us. For thirty-five years, y’all have stuck with us. I love y’all.”

The boy band ended their honor with an onstage performance alongside the actors who played their characters in the adaptation. The rousing mini-concert had attendees singing along and doing dance moves at their seats.

Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Bruno Mars, Remy Ma, Solange, and Migos took home some of the night’s biggest awards.

Mars, who won for best male R&B and pop artist, gave a shout out to former BET executive Stephen Hill during his acceptance speech. Hill also received onscreen kudos for his work on “The New Edition Story” mini-series.

This year’s ceremony appeared to run much longer than past years, totaling four hours. The show’s minor technical difficulties and jam-packed roster of musical performances contributed to the network forgoing many of the awards show’s biggest categories. Album of the Year, Best Collaboration, Sportsman of the Year, Best Actor, and Best Video of the Year are just a few that didn’t make the program.

Even still, DJ Khalid, Quavo (of Migos), Lil Wayne and Chance the Rapper closed out the show with their hit single “The One,” sans Justin Bieber.

More Music

  • Paradigm Agency Cuts 30 Staff Positions,

    Paradigm Agency Cuts 30 Staff Positions, Mostly in Music

    Paradigm has made a significant cut to its staff, laying off about 30 agents and support staff or 4% of its employees, Variety has confirmed. Sources said most of the layoffs were in the music area at the agency and took place Friday.. Paradigm, which had about 700 employees prior to the layoffs, had no [...]

  • Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters

    Dave Grohl on Dimebag Darrell's Legacy, How Pantera Influenced the Foo Fighters

    Dave Grohl is thisclose to finishing a new Foo Fighters album. “It’s the record that we’ve threatened to make for a long time,” he says. “We’re finally doing something that’s surprising even us.” But on Thursday afternoon, Grohl is 100% focused on late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott, who is being honored that night at [...]

  • Grammy Awards 60th Annual Grammy Awards,

    Recording Academy Paid Millions Annually to Outside Law Firms

    Among the concerns listed in a memo sent to the Recording Academy’s head of HR by president/CEO Deborah Dugan before she was placed on administrative leave Thursday was an item about the organization’s “exorbitant and unnecessary” legal fees to outside law firms, according to sources familiar with the document. According to the most recent 990 [...]

  • Bob Mould

    Bob Mould Showcases Catalog, Ejects Right Wing Heckler at Tour Opener

    Bob Mould kicked off a somewhat unusual solo electric tour at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass. last night, with a 75-minute set that drew evenly from across his four decade career. Mould may have embraced a sunnier perspective since moving to Berlin three years ago — as evidenced by his [...]

  • Naaz

    Italy's Meduza, Dutch singer Naaz Among Winners at Music Moves Europe Talent Awards

    Italian electronic producers Meduza, Norway’s Girl In Red, and Dutch singer Naaz (pictured) were among the winners at the second annual Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, which took place Friday, Jan. 17 in the Netherlands. The honor, formerly known as the European Border Breakers Award (EBBA), went to eight artists in total, as well as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content