The 2023 BET Awards, known as “culture’s biggest night,” aired Sunday night live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The show honored the 50th anniversary of hip-hip and delivered iconic performances from acts new and old — from Lil Uzi Vert opening with his viral TikTok hit “Just Wanna Rock” to old school’s Sugar Hill Gang and Big Daddy Kane taking the stage.
Davido, Lola Brooks, Trick Daddy, Trina, Ying Yang Twins, T.I., Jeezy, Master P, GloRilla, Remi Ma, Fat Joe, Fabolous, Styles P, Ja Rule, Ice Spice, and Kaliii also performed, while Offset and Quavo reunited for a surprise performance honoring their late Migos groupmate Takeoff.
During the telecast, Latto and Coco Jones took home the awards for Best Female Hip Hop Artist and Best New Artist, respectively. Beyoncé snagged both the BET Her and Viewer’s Choice Awards, while Teyana “Spike Tey” Taylor won Video Director of the Year.
Patti LaBelle led a tribute to the late, great Tina Turner, who died in May. She performed Turner’s hit “The Best” and although she messed up some of the lyrics, she owned it, telling the audience, “I’m trying!”
After a short video about Busta Rhymes’ accomplishments in the industry — featuring comments from stars like Diddy, Pharrell Williams, Janet Jackson, Dave Chappelle and more — Marlon Wayans and Swizz Beatz presented him with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I’m gonna wear it on my sleeve. I do want to cry,” he said before wiping away tears and delivering a moving speech on getting started in the industry.
Busta went on to perform a medley of songs including “Ante Up,” “Bounce,” “Jump Jump,” legendary verses from A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Scenario” and Chris Brown‘s “Look At Me Now,” and his latest release, “BEACH BALL” featuring BIA.
The show closed out with “Hip Hop 50” featuring Doug E. Fresh, Kid ‘N Play, King Combs, Soulja Boy, and more.
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