The BET Awards were back in full force Sunday night.
Hosted by Taraji P. Henson, the network’s 21st ceremony and television broadcast featured a live audience as it honored talent across music, television, film, and sports at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Megan Thee Stallion dominated, taking home the awards for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist; Video of the Year and Best Collaboration for “WAP,” her duet with Cardi B; and a Viewer’s Choice Award for “Savage (Remix),” her 2020 track with Beyoncé.
The legendary Queen Latifah received the Lifetime Achievement Award. After Rapsody, Lil’Kim, and MC Lyte paid tribute to her, performing her songs “Ladies First” and “U.N.I.T.Y.,” the actress and rapper accepted the award with her father, Lancelot Owens, Sr., while holding a photo of her late mother, Rita Owens.
“I’m so extremely moved, I don’t even know what to say,” Latifah said, choking up. “Let me just say that I want to thank God because God designed this whole thing to be this way. There is no way that I could have had the parents that I was born to, my father, my mother, who instilled so much in me. My family, I love you. My siblings, my best friends who ride or die with me. Whether my face is on the dirt or flying in the sky, they know me and they are there for me.”
She continued, “I want to thank BET for creating an outlet for beautiful Blackness to thrive, to shine. When we couldn’t get played on the radio and other places, we couldn’t get our videos played in other places, there was BET, that allowed us to be in our fullness and to shine to this night right now, right here… Be Black. Black is beautiful.”
Other highlights included Cardi B reveali her second pregnancy during a set with her husband, Migos member Offset, and Lil Nas X kissing his male dancer at the end of a fiery, Egyptian-themed, Michael Jackson-referencing performance of his No. 1 hit “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).”
Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, City Girls, Jazmine Sullivan, and Ari Lennox also took to the stage. Lil Baby, H.E.R., Giveon, Chadwick Boseman, Andra Day, Silk Sonic, Burna Boy, Naomi Osaka, and LeBron James were among the night’s winners.
DMX, who died in April , was honored in a special tribute featuring Busta Rhymes Method Man and Swizz Beatz performing the late rapper’s songs. The tribute included new tracks from the artist’s posthumous album, Exodus.