Tyler Perry, right, presents the lifetime achievement award from Anita Baker on the BET Awards in the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 24, 2018, in Los Angeles.
The 2018 BET Awards hardly handed out trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar is absent, but the show included superior performance due to the rise of the singer H. E. R., rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and almost brought her to tears.
Baker, an eight-time Grammy winner who dominated the R&B charts from the years ’80 to mid’ 90, received the Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The 60-year-old with her speech on encouraging the artists in the room to keep music alive.
“I would like that the music should play, that singers are allowed to sing and rappers should rap, and the poets are allowed to rhyme,” said the Baker, who was also honored by the host, Jamie Foxx, Ledisi, and Marsha Ambrosius.
H. E. R., whose real name is Gabi Wilson, was impressive as she sang the R&B hit “Focus” played the electric guitar like a rock star and sang softly while the sweet love song “Best ”, where she was accompanied by Daniel Caesar.
Meek Mill, who was released from prison in April, tapped the song “Stay Awake” on a stage transformed into a corner of the street, with prostitutes, children and police officers. A mother screams as her child is shot down during the powerful performance, and an officer puts an American flag over the body.
Meek Mill also a statement by wearing a hoodie with the face of XXXTentacion, the 20-year-old rapper-singer, who died after a shot from last week.
“We can’t get used to this kind of things. We are also used to help young people killed,” Foxx said, when speaking about XXXTentacion later in the show.
Meek Mill performs “Stay Awake” at the BET Awards in the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 24, 2018, in Los Angeles.
The Oscar winner told the audience to “try to sneak a message in their music.
“We have something on,” he said.
Snoop Dogg celebrated 25 years in the music, performing the classic songs “What’s My Name” and “Next Episode.” The rapper also performed songs from his recently released gospel album, wearing a choir robe on a stage that looked like a church.
Childish Gambino, whose song and video “This Is America” tackles racism and gun violence and became a viral hit last month, gave a brief, impromptu performance of the song as Foxx brought him on the stage.
“Everyone begged me to make a joke about that song. I said that number should not be joked about,” Foxx said.
Foxx began the show joy in the uber success of the “Black Panther” namedropping the records of the film has broken and even drew Michael B. Jordan on the stage to recite a line from the movie.
“We don’t have a president now because we got our king,” Foxx said of T’Challa. “(Director) Ryan Coogler, gave us our king.”
Foxx in the arena with a stuffed black panther toys with a gold chain around her neck, which he handed to Jordan. The film won best film.
“The film is about our experiences of Afro-Americans and also captures the experiences of the African,” Coogler said. “It was about tapping into the voice that tells us to be proud of who we are.”
At the end of his speech he told the audience to travel to Africa and learn more about the continent’s history.
SZA, who was the most nominated female this year the grammy’s won, best new artist and said that she “never won anything in front of other people.”
She wore the award on those “lost in the world,” and say: “Follow your passion … believe in yourself.”
After the show, BET announced that Kendrick Lamar had won for best album for “DAMN.” and best male hip-hop artist. Beyonce won best female pop/R&B artist, while Bruno Mars was named the best male pop/R&B artist.
“Girls Trip” star and comedian Tiffany Haddish, who won for best actress and gave her speech in a recorded video, also said words of encouragement.
“You can achieve what you want in life,” she said.
DJ Khaled was the main applicant with six and picked up the first award of the evening — the best collaboration for the “Wild Thinking” with Rihanna, and Bryson Tiller. He was with his son on his hip on the stage and also his speech to highlight young people.
“All y’ all are leaders and all y’all are kings and queens of the future,” he said.
Migos won best group and gave a fun performance that had even Adams the recitation of the texts. J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, Miguel, YG, 2 Chainz and Big Sean also performed.
The BET Awards are normally of the hands of the Humanitarian Award to a person, but six people the honor Sunday. The name “Humanitarian Heroes,” the network gave awards to James Shaw, Jr., who struggled with an assault-style rifle away from a gunman in a Tennessee Waffle House in April; Anthony Borges, the 15-year-old student who was shot five times and is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students in the course of February massacre in Florida; Mamoudou Gassama, who scaled an apartment building to save a child dangling from a balcony last month in Paris; Naomi Wadler, an 11-year-old, who gave a memorable and influential speech at the March for Our Lives; Justin Blackman, the only student to walk away from his high school in North Carolina during the national student walkout to protest gun violence in March, and the journalist and activist Shaun King.
Debra Lee, who stepped down as chairman and CEO of BET last month after 32 years on the network, it earned the Ultimate Icon Award.
“The strength of the black culture is second to none. It is beautiful. It is amazing. It is all. It is us,” she said.
She ended her speech by quoting former AMERICAN President, Barack Obama, calling him “our commander in chief,” which drew loud applause.
“And, it is Debra Lee, out,” she said as she let her imaginary microphone.