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BET Awards Honor Usher

Usher Raymond received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent BET Awards. / AP

The Annual BET Awards premiered last night, featuring a star-studded lineup! Performances by Chloë Bailey, Ice Spice, Tyla, Victoria Monet, and more lit up the screen.

Actress Taraji P. Henson returned as the host after her 2023 break due to the writers’ strike. Henson kicked off the show with a parody of Kendrick Lamar’s trending diss track “They Not Like Us.” She excelled as the host and used her platform to comment on presidential candidate Donald Trump, urging people to vote wisely in the upcoming election, stating, “It’s time for us to play chess, not checkers. We need to make decisions that will impact us as human beings, our careers, and future generations. Did you know it’s now a crime to be homeless? Pay attention. It’s not a secret. Look it up. They are attacking our most vulnerable citizens. The Project 2025 plan is serious. Look it up.”

The night’s host, Taraji P. Henson, kicked off the show with a parody of Kendrick Lamar’s hit “They Not Like Us.”

Drake led this year’s nominations with seven, followed by Nicki Minaj with six. J. Cole, Sexyy Red, SZA, and Victoria Monét each earned five nominations, while 21 Savage, Beyoncé, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Tyla, and Usher received four.

Monét, SZA, Beyoncé, and Tyla walked away with the top awards of the night. SZA won Best Female R&B Artist, while Beyoncé took home the Viewers Choice Award for her popular track “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” from her latest album. Newcomer Tyla, an international star, claimed both Best New Artist and Best International Act. Monét took home two major awards of the night – Video of the Year and BET Her Award. Usher was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Talk of Usher’s Lifetime Achievement Award tribute and Monét’s performance of her hit songs “Alright” and “On My Mama” dominated social media due to their spectacular performances.

One of the best performances of the night was by Monét. The Grammy Award winner’s set exemplified what a true performance should entail, from her singing and dancing to her flawless execution of three costume changes that captivated the audience throughout.

Teyana Taylor, Victoria Monét and Keke Palmer were just a few of the artists who honored Usher with a string of his hits. / Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

USHER RAYMOND’S TRIBUTE

Big names came out to pay tribute to the eight-time Grammy award winner. The female-led musical tribute, opened up by Childish Gambino and Keke Palmer, kicking off with an acapella version of “U Don’t Have to Call”. We then take a nostalgic trip down Usher’s discography with a line of performances including Coco Jones: “There Goes My Baby,” Tinashe: “Nice and Slow,” Marsha Ambrosius: “Superstar,” Chlöe Bailey: “Good Kisser,” Latto: “Yeah!,” and Monet and Teyana Taylor’s joint dance number of “Bad Girl”. Artist Summer Walker also performed her verse on her and Usher’s recent collaboration “Good Good,” which received multiple awards during the evening’s show.

After the jaw-dropping performance, the legend himself graced the stage thanking those closest to him and sharing details about his childhood experience that helped him grow into the performer and the man he has become and is still growing to be.

“When I first started, I had a different idea about what I thought life was gonna be,” Usher said. “I started off as an artist in a group in Chatanooga, Tennessee, and my name was Cha-Cha. And I really was searching for some identity and I was doing that specifically because I was trying to make sense of this name that was given to me … that a man gave me that didn’t stick around because he didn’t love me. Or at least that was my perception of it because I had to live long enough to understand that you have to have a forgiving heart in order to understand the true pitfalls and hardships of a Black man in America.”

While on stage, he discussed the pressures placed on Black men in America, and how it is a difficult yet accomplishing feat to overcome. He honored his father figures, his children, his village honoring him on stage, along with all father figures out there declaring 2024 as “…year of the father.” Usher noted,  “…he [Usher’s father] made a lot of choices. And the one that probably hurt and help me at the same time was to stay away, but that’s part of the reason why I say this is the year of the father, where all the fathers gotta stand up for their sons, their daughters and be the man that they need to be for them. It is 100 percent all about my children and making certain that you understand that your dreams can come true if you’re truly committed to it. If you’re dedicated to something and you find passion and you stay committed to it, this could potentially be you. This could be your moment — not on this stage, because I’m the only one that’s gonna have this one. But you could have a moment like this too.”

Watch the Usher tribute by clicking on the box below.

This year’s BET Awards featured some of the best performances I’ve seen in years at this award show. What was your favorite performance of the night? Leave your reaction below!

 

By Amariyah Mallory, Sophomore, Whitney Young

IG:Dancemari_

 

By Avery Kelley

Instagram: @askaveryk / Twitter: @averykels

 

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Written by TrueStar Staff

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