The 2020 BET Awards featured several mentions of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by George Floyd‘s death, including rapper DaBaby‘s performance in which he is pinned to the ground by a police officer’s knee on his neck – a reference to the killing of Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota last month.
In the awards ceremony’s In Memoriam segment, Weezy performed his 2009 song “Kobe Bryant” as footage from the basketball icon’s career flashed on the screen.
Host Amanda Seales paid tribute to the late Rock-n-Roll singer Little Richard. She made references to Breonna Taylor, the emergency medical technician who was killed when police officers raided her apartment during a wrong house no-knock warrant.
Seales also poked fun at all the well-meaning and opportunistic white folk who passionately support the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I must admit, this BET Awards is a little different,” Seales said. “The main thing is it’s virtual. We’re getting real in touch with being real inside. Because outside is on one. It’s got COVID and cops… It’s like we hated on 2019 so much, it called its brother, 2020, to come through and provide a collective Molly whop. And that’s precisely why we had to do the awards, because we deserve a break.
“And when I say ‘we’, I mean all us black folks watching the kneeling… the ‘I take responsibility’ vids, and saying to ourselves, ‘Wow, Y’all goofy…!’ America is acting brand new about racism, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing all the speeches for album interludes…
“We been out here in these streets marching, and this new eruption of consciousness has been beautiful. But keep it real though, some of y’all was only at the protest because the club is closed.”
The full list of BET Awards winners
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist – Lizzo
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist – Chris Brown
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist – Megan Tee Stallion
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist – Da Baby
Best New Artist – Roddy Ricch
Best Group – Migos
Best Collaboration – No Guidance by Chris Brown feat. Drake
Video of the Year – Higher by DJ Khaled feat. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend
Video Director of the year – Teyana ‘Spike Lee’ Taylor
Album of the Year – Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial by Roddy Ricch
Best Gospel/Inspirational Award – Just For Me by Kirk Franklin
BET Her Award – Brown Skin Girl by Beyonce feat. Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid & Saint Jhn
Viewers’ Choice Award – Hot Girl Summer by Megan Thee Stallion & Nicki Minaj
Best International Act – Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Best New International Act – Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)
Best Movie – Queen & Slim
Youngstars Award – Marsai Martin
Best Actor – Michael B. Jordan
Best Actress – Issa Rae
Humanitarian Award – Beyonce
Sportswoman of the Year – Simone Biles
Sportsman of the Year – LeBron James