Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

Viacom has announced that this year’s BET Awards will air across the media giant’s major networks; in addition to BET, the awards show will also air on MTV, VH1, SpikeTV, Comedy Central and even Nickelodeon. Obviously Viacom believes that the show has mainstream blockbuster ratings potential, guaranteeing that it will be accessible to the vast majority of its audience – not just BET’s audience, and certainly not just black audiences.

I’m certainly curious to see how it plays on the non-BET channels, when ratings are released afterward.

It’s worth noting that Viacom has done the same thing for the MTV Awards in the past, so why not the BET Awards as well?

BET AwardsBET Networks also revealed this morning that multi Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Stevie Wonder, will bring the house down during one of the multiple show-stopping performances spread throughout the show paying homage to Prince at the 16th annual “BET Awards.”

Wonder joins previously announced Sheila E., The Roots, D’Angelo and Janelle Monae as part of the homage.

Taking place live on Sunday, June 26, 2016, also confirmed to take the stage are Young Thug, Jennifer Hudson, Erykah Badu, French Montana, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Tori Kelly, Beyoncé’s rising music duo Chloe X Halle and Bilal, along with previously announced performers Bryson Tiller, Usher, Desiigner, Future, Alicia Keys, and Maxwell.

Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the “BET Awards” also promises several big surprises from beginning to end.

Jamie Foxx, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, Spike Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Debra Lee, Wood Harris, Karrueche Tran, Deon Cole and Yara Shahidi will join the previously announced presenters for the annual event, including DJ Khaled, Gabrielle Union, Tinashe, Fantasia, Regina Hall, BET’s “Music Moguls” (Damon Dash, Birdman, Jermaine Dupri and Snoop Dogg,) Aja Naomi King, Nate Parker, Terrence J, Morris Chestnut, J.B. Smoove, Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, the cast of BET’s New Edition Biopic (Bryshere Y. Gray, Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Algee Smith, Keith Powers and Woody McClain) and BET’s “F in Fabulous” cast (Kamie Crawford, Eny Oh, Stephon Mendoza and Savannah Lynx).

Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals and Bibi Bourelly are also confirmed to perform during the show on the Music Matters Stage Presented by Nissan.

The 2016 “BET Awards” will also honor Samuel L. Jackson with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Jesse Williams with the evening’s Humanitarian Award. A full list of the 2016 “BET Awards” nominees is available here.

The “BET Awards” 2016 will premiere around the world on BET’s international network. It will air in the UK on Tuesday, June 28th at 9:00pm BST, across Africa where BET is available on Tuesday, June 28th at 7:00pm CAT, and in France on Wednesday, June 29th at 9:00pm CEST.

Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment serves as Executive Producer. Stephen G. Hill, BET’s President of Programming; Connie Orlando, BET’s Senior Vice President of Music; and Specials and Lynne Harris Taylor, BET’s Vice President of Specials serve as Executive Producers for BET Networks.