The 2021 BET Awards proved to be a true celebration of Black excellence. The star-studded event kicked off with a high-fashion red carpet at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where fans flocked to cheer on their favorite hip-hop and R&B artists.
The award show then kicked off with some of the hottest performances TV has seen this year!
First, Lil Baby and Kirk Franklin hit the stage to perform with their song “We Win,” featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy.
We were all in awe when Cardi B came through dripping, showcasing her new baby bump during The Migos performance of “Straightenin” and “Type Sh*t.”
Another performance that fans were most excited to see was H.E.R. This year; she did not come to play, the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and instrumentalist gave a rock star rendition of “We Made It” while gracefully playing the drums in mid-air.
Moneybagg Yo used his time on the BET Awards stage to deliver a remarkable performance of “Wockesha” and “Time Today,” following the release of his No. 1 album A Gangsta’s Pain.
DaBaby performed “Ball If I Want To” on TV for the first time, and he surely added his own style to the show. He began his set by sitting in the audience and then leading the audience to a basketball court complete with cheerleader backup dancers and a large baby mascot. He even took a page out of H.E.R.’s book as he sailed through the air.
Megan Thee Stallion’s performance, inspired by her already-iconic “Thot Sh*t” music video, highlighted her skills and amazing dancers.
Tyler, The Creator’s performance of “Lumberjack,” from his latest album, Call Me If You Get Lost, included a green screen, an antique Rolls Royce, and a tremendous windstorm, giving it a strange dreamlike atmosphere.
Jazmine Sullivan graced the stage with Ari Lennox and Maxine Waters for a magnificent performance of her songs “On It” and “Tragic” before taking home the Album of the Year award for Heaux Tales. It was one of the most stunning vocal performances of the night.
With a performance of their hit single “Leave the Door Open,” Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak brought their easy charm, ’70s vibe, and silky smooth voices to the BET Awards. The performance was a superb follow-up to the pair’s earlier triumph of the Best Group award.
Roddy Rich hits the stage for a dream-like, fog-covered performance of “Late at Night.”
DJ Khaled took the stage at the end of the night to perform, bringing back a large number of the night’s major artists, including Megan Thee Stallion, Da Baby, H.E.R., Lil Baby, and Lil Durk for their singles, “Hats Off,” “I Did It,” and “Every Chance I Get.”
Lil Nas X brought Pride to the award show as he owned everyone’s attention as he strutted up to his Egyptian-themed throne before ending the performance with a passionate kiss with one of the dancers.
The City Girls, of course, did their thing during their “Twerkulator” performance, showcasing their moves.
Lil’ Kim, Monie Love, Rapsody, and MC Lyte joined together to perform a medley of Queen Latifah’s biggest hits, including “Just Another Day,” “Ladies First,” and “UNITY,” in honor of her receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year’s awards ended with a star-studded homage to the late DMX, continuing the trend of large collaborative performances.
Besides the Performances, the award show also had a few highlights and speeches from a few of last night’s winning artists.
Kicking off the show, the lady of the hour, Taraji P. Henson, revealed her road to success in Hollywood and how she became the mistress of Sunday night’s ceremonies.
Taraji also honored her fellow Black queens.
Nigeria’s Burna Boy was the winner of the Best International Act Award.
Most importantly, BET didn’t forget to show respect to the ones we lost recently in their Memoriam.
More celebrities like Mary J. Blige and Lee Daniels later praised Queen Latifah’s trailblazing career.
Some of the Sunday night’s award winners included Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion for Video of the Year. Meg won the Viewer’s Choice award for the “Savage” remix ft Beyonce, which gave amazing advice to inspire fans while accepting the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award. Andra Day won the Best Actress award for her role in portraying Billie Holiday.