DaBaby Performs with Knee On Neck, Lil Wayne pays tribute to Kobe Bryant in 2020 BET Awards performances

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.

Rapper Lil Wayne closed out the 2020 BET Awards by saluting the memory of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died alongside his teenage daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in January.

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.

Lil Wayne previously honored the sportsman on his album Funeral earlier this year – one track, “Bing James,” included 24 seconds of silence – a nod to Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers number 24.

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

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