Hostless BET Awards Honor 50 Years of Hip-Hop With Many Performances
The 2023 BET Awards honored the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with dozens of performances that played like a musical family reunion as pioneers of the genre blazed the stage during a hostless but party-filled show held during the writers strike.
The Sugarhill Gang, Big Daddy Kane, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Erick Sermon and Keith Murray performed Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, celebrating rap music and honoring its roots as well as its domination in pop culture.
Ja Rule, Red Man, E-40, Master P, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Styles P, T.I., Fabolous, Trick Daddy, Trina, Uncle Luke and Skillz hit the stage, helping the four-hour-show flow during the writers strike, which several presenters acknowledged before giving out awards, including Grammy-winning singer Muni Long.
Patti LaBelle paid tribute to the late Tina Turner, who died May 24, with a performance of the latter’s (Simply) The Best,” but she forgot the words during a few moments. “I’m trying, y’all,” she told the crowd, before later singing, “Whatever, I can’t see the words.”
Coco Jones took the stage to perform not long after being named best new artist. Teyana “Spike Tey” Taylor won video director of the year, and her mom, who accepted on her behalf, made a video call to her daughter from the stage so that she could accept remotely. Beyoncé won the BET Her and Viewer’s Choice awards but was not present to accept as she’s on tour.
Before the cast of BET’s Sistas presented the award for best female hip-hop artist to Latto, they expressed their support for the Writers Guild of America amid its ongoing strike as they seek a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
Heading into the show, Drake led the nominees with seven, followed by GloRilla with six and 21 Savage and Lizzo with five each. Beyoncé, Burna Boy, Chris Brown, Ice Spice and SZA landed four noms apiece. The nominations were selected by the BET Voting Academy, a group of entertainment professionals and influencers in the fields of music, media, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations and creative arts.