The 2016 BET Awards far exceeded anyone's expectations.Photo: Tumblr
We live in a rather cynical age where it seems as though everyone flocks to Twitter just to see which programming will fall flat on its face. With the stakes high and a space full of opportunity following the Billboard Awards lackluster tribute performance to Prince, the creative muscle behind Sunday night's BET awards promised to deliver the true honor the "Purple One" deserved.
Can we just take a moment and acknowledge how much better the production of the #BETAwards has gotten over the years?— deray mckesson (@deray) June 27, 2016
In cased you missed the show, or didn't watch with Black Twitter, here's a rundown of the night's big moments Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Well since we're all here-- let's check in! Who's watching the #BETAwards with us? Hey cousins! 👋🏾 pic.twitter.com/LtCInn5cuR — The Dinner Table Doc (@dinnertabledoc) June 27, 2016The big buzz every year; will she or won't she? Beyoncé that is. After the big hype in 2014, promising a Bey performance which was nothing more than a clip of Partition from her tour, skeptics were certain she'd never step down from her throne to ever grace the BET Awards stage again.
She showed up for Sunday service and brought deacon Kendrick Lamar. We went to church with their mezmerizing show opener to "Freedom".
— haoyi (@haoyikok) June 27, 2016
BET's social media had this one loaded in the chamber ready to fire.
What little award show wasn't Bey coming too?! 👀 #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/TdbwZ2PrBj — BET (@BET) June 27, 2016
Samuel L. Jackson was impressed, too.
Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson returned as hosts with a refreshingly funny Hamilton parody as their opening sequence.
Samuel L. Muthafuckin Jackson! #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/bClZeCYxRP — Zoe (@YourFavoriteZoe) June 27, 2016
But Anthony A. brought the wrong "Hamilton".
Anthony Hamilton so damn soulful. Bruh be singing like the baked beans just finished! #BETAwards— Carlton Morton (@MrCouture) June 27, 2016
Anthony Hamilton sings likes he's straight from the fields (no shade) so it's a nice departure for him to be carrying a musket. #BETAwards — ☔️ April ☔️ (@ReignOfApril) June 27, 2016
Anthony Hamilton showed up and now I want collard greens #BETAwards— Christian Jawnson (@NerdPoetics) June 27, 2016
Dave Chappelle came through to honor his longtime friend and kickoff the tributes.
Man Dave Chappelle should have strolled out on that stage like #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/LgFi0K5Ryw — Beanz of SFPL (@PhotosByBeanz) June 27, 2016
BET got Dave Chappelle and Beyonce in the same event???? HOLY GOD— Killa maK (@CoolWithA_K) June 27, 2016
yo man dave chappelle is starting to look like bokeem woodbine and im concerned — Another Round (@anotherround) June 27, 2016
First up: The Roots, Erykah Badu and Bilal.
Badu is pushing tf through 😍 #BETAwards — Spiritual Animal (@TajonTheModel) June 27, 2016
Bilal is just out here showing Madonna how you do a real Prince tribute and honor an ICON. #BETAwards— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) June 27, 2016
Me after this @Bilal performance... #BETAwards #PrinceTribute pic.twitter.com/QzFSTglztr — Rebecca Theodore (@FilmFatale_NYC) June 27, 2016
Do it, Bilal. pic.twitter.com/6ssoXsJkuI— Alexander Hardy (@chrisalexander_) June 27, 2016
So good, everyone was on the edge of their seats.
Commercial? Will there be tributes through-out the show? Okay! We see what you did here, we won't leave #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/CaGnH6zsof — The Dinner Table Doc (@dinnertabledoc) June 27, 2016
The night wouldn't be complete without a tribute to the late, great Muhammad Ali with the help of Jamie Foxx and his stunningly beautiful daughter, Laila.
@TheRealLailaAli pic.twitter.com/6GrbZtdMsx — JET magazine (@GetJETmag) June 27, 2016
Laila Ali lookin' like MILK! — Christina Watkins (@CWatkinsTV) June 27, 2016
Can we discuss?
I am Fabolous' reaction to Desiigner pic.twitter.com/E45a7yFruQ — Ferrari Sheppard (@stopbeingfamous) June 27, 2016
Nah Desiigner just caught me off guard 😂He was on stage, I looked down at my phone for minute then I looked up & he was by me 😳😂 — Fabolous (@myfabolouslife) June 27, 2016
Desiigner is Monday and i'm Fabolous waking up on Monday. pic.twitter.com/1HDkszU3ZT — don plantain (@wheresX) June 27, 2016
TFW you realize Desiigner is a human Mr. Krabs meme pic.twitter.com/CupuyTmIFL— Craig Jenkins (@CraigSJ) June 27, 2016
When Desiigner and Future are in the same room #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/rXY4FrAgSA — Clean, but opulent (@LadyOnTheMuna) June 27, 2016
Man who did this to Desiigner?! 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/DTdiPRyLFu— Hip Hop Chamber (@HipHop_Chamber) June 27, 2016
No one in the audience quite knew what was going on.
Me trying to decipher Desiigner lyrics pic.twitter.com/gXtqjU7uBy — Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) June 27, 2016
Alicia Keys performed.
Aiight RT @scrapye: Alicia keys like .... pic.twitter.com/fpJnU5MXty — young numb (@p_cal) June 27, 2016
Alicia Keys literally did all that herself. Like that's a talented woman right there. Have nothing but respect for her.— karlie floss. (@FUCCl) June 27, 2016
Alicia Keys came on stage with her garage band and didn't hit one damn note, but Fantasia is sitting in the audience, huh? — ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) June 27, 2016
Now back to the Prince tributes.
Tori Kelly performing with Stevie Wonder at the BET Awards pic.twitter.com/TH9Hy19Aoi— purifying your tl (@tkvocals) June 27, 2016
gave me chills — @IAMJHUD #BETAwards https://t.co/l1xsWjhWlK — ️️ (@DOMONlC) June 27, 2016
J-Hud had us like...Photo: Tumblr
The Humanitarian Award. Can we pause for the greatness that is Jesse Williams and his acceptance speech?
when jesse williams said they are "gentrifying our genius" pic.twitter.com/jdPGOMMlts — Aaron Edwards (@aaronmedwards) June 27, 2016
When #JesseWilliams said "Just because we're magic does not mean we aren't real." #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/leJY7lXqTC — Janet Dickerson (@TheRealPRLady) June 27, 2016
When everyone found out Fat Joe, Remy Ma and French Montana's real names.
WAYMENT. @anthonyanderson droppin gubmint names? He the Feds? 😭😂 #BETAwards — ☔️ April ☔️ (@ReignOfApril) June 27, 2016
And Samuel L. Jackson solidified his OG status with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Samuel L. Jackson is a national treasure. #BETAwards — Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 27, 2016
Samuel L. Jackson. L is for legend. — Mattie James (@Mattieologie) June 27, 2016
Janelle Monae really tapped into the spirit of her idol, with a showstopping medley of his greats.
Relive @janellemonae’s amazing #PrinceTribute at the #BETAwards. 💜https://t.co/h1X3IfBLgQ — Racked (@Racked) June 27, 2016
@JanelleMonae pulled all the way through .... My universe is purple — Yara shahidi (@YaraShahidi) June 27, 2016
But not to be outdone by the host.
Meanwhile Mother Taraji brought the slayage and politics.
Taraji looks amazing, the literal embodiment of the 🔥 emoji. #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/0r3FtdSZO4 — Cocoa Butter (@cocoabutterbf) June 27, 2016
All these young men tryna help Taraji up on stage LMAOOOOOOOO!!!! — Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) June 27, 2016
It was only right Sheila E. give everyone a lesson in musicianship 101 closing out the show.
Sheila E. pays tribute to her longtime friend and collaborator #Prince #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/Krzgn9ujq6 — REVOLT TV (@RevoltTV) June 27, 2016
This Sheila E. #PrinceTribute.... #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/GMiccuttXj — Rebecca Theodore (@FilmFatale_NYC) June 27, 2016
Don't y'all disrespect Prince by asking who Shelia E is.... She is the only one I know for a fact Prince would've wanted to do his tribute — wicked (@MimiExotica) June 27, 2016
#SheliaE showed all those hating fools how relevant she is/was & will continue to be! #BETAwards #PrinceTribute pic.twitter.com/Bxp996HOn6 — Jennifer Michelle (@JMichelleMTAM) June 27, 2016
Shelia E's performance was nothing short of phenomenal. #BETAwards — Dani (@dhowE_) June 27, 2016
Wasn't D'Angelo expected to be at the #BETAwards for the #PrinceTribute? Did he trade watches with Lauryn Hill? I have questions. — ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) June 27, 2016