Teddy Riley, Pharrell, Nas & Jermaine Dupri Deliver At 2019 Essence Festival
The 19th annual BET Awards was one for the books once again as it honored some of the biggest legends, icons, and humanitarians of African-American culture at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The evening went from a night of stars gracing the "Nipsey Blue" carpet to a night of highly energetic performances from a bevy of stars live from LA Live.
Hip Hop couple Cardi B and Offset opened up the show with a nice mix of their collaboration "Clout", and Card B's "Press" as well as a few other Cardi snippets. Cardi went on to win the award for Album Of The Year. Cardi and Offset gave us full choreography! They even included a reenactment of Cardi dancing on Offset on a chair that mirrored the video.
Host Regina Hall followed up nicely with a Beyonce Homecoming-inspired, parodied opening number titled 'Homegrown DC.' Beyonce's epic and groundbreaking Coachella performance has been such an immensely praised moment of history from the original performance to Beyonce's recent 'Homecoming' Netflix documentary. Hall and BET nailed it with the same HBCU drum line opening. Regina substituted the Queen Bey's tunes for some classic DC Go-go music. Regina Hall & Sugar Bear performed "Do You Know What Time It Is?," "Da Butt," & "Run Joe"! She also used the moment to discuss the current gentrification that is taking place in D.C.
H.E.R. gave a performance of powerful speech and live instrumentation before being joined on stage by YBN Cordae to perform "Lord Is Coming".
Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus hit the stage to perform their hit collaboration "Old Town Road".
Mustard & Migos came through dripping with their performance of "Pure Water.
Charlotte's own Da Baby, held it down for North Carolina as he gave an energetic performance of his hit single "Suge", that included a skit that parodied Death Row's Suge Knight's classic Source Awards speech.
Lizzo proved that she's 100 % that b*tch with her high energy, flute-assisted performance of "Truth Hurts".
DJ Khaled, Meek Mill & Jeremih hit the stage to give fans some of that 'Father of Ashad' heat with "Weather The Storm" & "You Stay".
The Quality Control family came through as City Girl's Yung Miami and Lil Baby performed "Act Up", "Close Friends" and "Pure Cocaine".
The men that were wrongfully convicted as teens, known as the Central Park 5 and now the Exonerated 5, received a standing ovation for persevering, as their story has been brought to the big screen with the Netflix documentary 'When They See Us'.
Tyler Perry was awarded with the Icon Award, to which he assumed the role that I like to call "Pastor Perry", as he has time and time again delivered "sermons" that needed to be heard. He talked turning pain into success, paying it forward, and building his own table instead of waiting for a seat at other's tables.
The Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Our young icon Rihanna had the honor of presenting Mary with the prestigious award, as they both expressed how much they inspired one another. Mary ran threw many of her classic hits with a performance that included "My Life," "Real Love," "I'm Goin' Down," "You Remind Me," "All I Need," "I Can Love You," "No More Drama," "Be Happy," "Love No Limit" and more. The Hip Hop legends Method Man and Lil Kim joined Mary on stage for performances of the fan-favorite classics "All I Need" and "I Can Love You".
The night's most notable winners included Cardi B, Nipsey Hussle, Childish Gambino, Beyonce, Migos, Snoop Dogg, Bruno Mars, Drake, Ella Mai, Spike Lee, and Regina King.
Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman' won best movie. Regina King, who won an Oscar in February for 'If Beale Street Could Talk', won her second BET award for best actress. Drake took home an award for his feature on Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode", which won the award Best Collaboration. Ella Mai's "Trip" won her the Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice Award. Lil Baby took home the award for Best New Artist. Childish Gambino's "This Is America" won him Video of the Year. The Queen Beyonce won Best Female R&B/Pop artist for the 10th time. Migostook home the award for Best Group Or Duo for the third time in a row.
The late, great Nipsey Hussle was posthumously honored with the BET Awards' Humanitarian Award. It's been almost three months since the assassination of Nipsey, but this legacy and memory will forever live on in the hearts of the millions across the world that he touched!
Hussle's family - including his mother, father, sister, grandmother, son, daughter, and longtime girlfriend Lauren London, took the stage to accept the Humanitarian Award on his behalf.
T.I, delivered a speech that spoke on his revolutionary activism and philanthropic work as an artist, and how he inspired many across the world. Nipsey's mother shared a story about her experiences with spirituality leading up to Nipsey's death, and why she was now able to be at peace with her son's passing. In tribute to Nipsey Hussle, Marsha Ambrosius performed "Real Big," YG "Last Time I Checc'd," and DJ Khaled and John Legend performed "Higher."