Despite a looong night of predictably megastar winners – Beyoncé and Pharrell for best R&B/pop artists, Drake and Nicki Minaj for best hip-hop artists – the BET Awards still offered its share of surprises and big moments Sunday night:
Nicki brought ‘shrooms and shade: After a Miley-esque performance of new song Pills and Potions –complete with colorful, towering mushrooms and someone in a bunny suit – Nicki accepted the award for female hip-hop artist, throwing shade at Fancy rapper Iggy Azalea in the process, sites such as Gawker say. “When you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Mianj wrote it,” Minaj said, throwing in some Fancy poses and thanking BET for honoring “authenticity.” Is a feud a-brewin’? Or are we just reading too far in to Nicki’s otherwise empowering speech?
“Good evening, my name is Robin Thicke.” “I’d like to dedicate this song to my wife. I miss you and I’m sorry,” the Blurred Lines singer said before launching into his piano-assisted Forever Love. It was the latest stop on his Paula apology tour before the release of his album, named for his estranged wife, July 1. Talk about awkward?
It’s only June, but it feels like August. R&B up-and-comer August Alsina had a big night, thanks to his wins for best new artist and Coca-Cola viewers’ choice. Choking up over his new artist honor, Alsina delivered an emotional speech, saying, “I told myself if and when I got up here I wouldn’t cry,” later thanking friends and family, and adding that he “represent(s) the struggle.” Later in the show, the singer took the stage with Trey Songz and Chris Brown for performances of Kissin’ on my Tattoos and I Luv This.
Lionel Richie got honored – and misspelled. He picked up a lifetime achievement award – and delivered electrifying performances of Easy Like Sunday Morning and All Night Long that had the crowd on its feet – but Lionel Richie may not have been Dancing on the Ceiling about his BETs’ name flub: As Buzzfeed points out, the network misspelled his name when the icon accepted his award, adding a “t” to his last name.
Lil Wayne was everywhere. No matter where you looked, Weezy was all over the place: performing his own Krazy and Believe Me, joining Chris Brown for Loyal, and even shouting a signature “Young Moolah, baby!” while accepting best group with his Young Money team … before breaking the mic stand.
Leather weather: Well that’s a side we haven’t seen before. Jennifer Hudson donned a tight leather dress and a flirty attitude for her performances of Walk it Out and It’s Your World, never losing sight of her powerhouse vocals. If you think the sexy performance was out of character, then think again: Hudson has a new album expected out later this summer, which could signal a steamy promotional tour ahead.
Driver, roll up the partition, please: If you already caught the On the Run tour, then this taped performance by Beyoncé and Jay Z was just another night in the arena. For those of us who haven’t yet made it out quite yet, it was the quintessential way to cap off the evening: Jay rapped an intro, before Queen Bey launched into an acrobatic performance of sultry single Partition, complete with stripper poles, backup dancers and a leopard-print light show.
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