The BET Awards aired live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, and it was jam-packed with hype performances, celebrity appearances, and OMG moments. If you didn’t get to watch the show, here’s what you missed.
1. Cardi B.’s “Clout” and “Press” performance
From the second the curtains opened and Cardi B took the stage, it was obvious that no one in the audience came to this awards show to sit down in their seats. Joining the BET nominee on stage was husband Offset, who had Twitter in an uproar with his dancing skills.
During the performance of “Clout” and “Press,” audiences went wild when Cardi straddled her hubby and performed a lap dance.
2. Lizzo lets loose
Lizzo was the icing on a wedding cake, literally, for her performance of “Truth Hurts.” Wearing a veil and a white lace bodysuit covered by a tiered tulle skirt, the Best New Artist nominee asked the BET audience, “Do you want cake?”
Applauded on social media for putting her curves on display, Lizzo ripped off the attached skirt as celebrity fans in the audience like Rihanna clapped in support. Plus, she was the only performer to whip out a flute solo.
3. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus take a ride
Audiences were transported to “Old Town Road” when Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus made their way onto the stage on horseback to perform their hit song. There was not one person in the audience that didn’t know the lyrics to the track.
“Old Town Road” has spent the last 11 weeks as the #1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 and not even Drake has been able to dethrone it.
4. Mary J. Blige brings down the house
All hail the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul! Usually, several performers pay tribute to the honoree of a Lifetime Achievement Award, but Mary J. Blige took the stage herself for nearly 20 minutes.
She performed many of her biggest hits including “Real Love,” “My Life,” and “No More Drama.” Lil’ Kim even jumped in to help her sing their duet “I Can Love You,” and Method Man did the same with “You’re All I Need.”
5. Nipsey Hussle is gone but not forgotten
Nipsey Hussle was posthumously honored with the Humanitarian Award, with his family accepting the honor. His widow Lauren London was there with their son Kross, as was his grandmother, and mother who all spoke about their lost loved one.
He was also remembered during many of the night’s performances. DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, and Jeremih sang “Weather the Storm” and “You Stay” in his memory.
6. The exonerated Central Park Five receive a standing ovation
The Exonerated Five, formerly known as the Central Park Five, were also in attendance. Raymond Santana Jr., Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Korey Wise, and Kevin Richardson, who were wrongly convicted of raping a jogger in NYC when they were teenagers, helped introduce singer H.E.R.
The five men’s story was most recently told in Ava DuVernay’s hit When They See Us on Netflix. The audience leaped to their feet to applaud them and celebrate their freedom.
7. Tyler Perry proves why he’s the ultimate icon
Tyler Perry received the Ultimate Icon Award and gave a passionate speech during his acceptance. “When I started hiring Taraji, Viola Davis, and Idris Elba, they couldn’t get jobs in this town but God blessed me to be in a position to be able to hire them,” he said.
He also opened up about the land he bought in Atlanta, where his Tyler Perry Studios now sits. “There were Confederate soldiers on that base, plotting and planning on how to keep 3.9 million negroes enslaved. Now, that land is owned by one negro,” he said.