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The 2015 BET Awards was even better than last year’s awards show – filled with hot music and co-hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross from ABC’s comedy, Blackish,who cracked jokes and added to the fun-filled, entertaining night. Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monáe were among the musical artists scheduled to appear and perform. Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown led with the most nominations at six each. The awards show was held at the Los Angeles Microsoft Theater.
Lamar sang Alright from his hit album, Pimp the Butterfly, to open up the 2015 BET Awards show. People were dancing in the audience and applauded enthusiastically as he finished singing. It was a great way to kick off the show, and was the first of many, many highlights from the BET Awards show.
Ross said, “Tonight we celebrate all of the conquerors in TV, entertainment and sports.” Anderson joined her in a song about the Hollywood entertainment industry that was pretty funny. Ross sang that “Blackish didn’t want to cast me.”
They introduced Gabrielle Union and Laverne Cox, who presented the BET Awards 2015 Best Actor Award. They were both dressed in the same dress, and they had a Hip-Hop Trivia Challenge to decide who would get to wear the dress to an after-party. The BET Award went to…Terence Howard, for his fine acting in the hit Fox TV series, Empire.
Howard thanked Taraji P. Henson, his fans, and his wife, among others. Then, the BET Awards show went to a commercial break.
Back from the break, Monáe and Jidenna were the next musical artists to perform. Monáe was fantastic, and the backup dancers were hot, also. She sang her current hit, Yoga. Then, Jidenna was having his shoes shined, and he began singing Classic Man. He was dressed in a blue suit with a walking stick in his hand.
The BET Awards 2015 Best Female Hip-Hop Artist Award was then presented. Surprise, surprise -Minaj won; her first big award of the night. She walked up onto the stage with her mom, and thanked her and everyone who has helped participate in her Pinkprint Tour.
Then, a trailer from the movie The Perfect Guy was shown. It was pretty cool, and looked like it will be a creepy and intense movie. The flick will be out in September.
The cast members of The Game presented the next award. It was the BET Awards 2015 award for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist. Lamar was the winner and he came up onto the stage to give his acceptance speech.
Then, Tyga and Chris Brown took the BET Awards stage and sang. Brown started off behind a desk, singing Liquor, before he got up and grabbed the mike to sing Ayo with Tyga. It was one of the many highlights of the night. They always seem to do great collaborations together.
La La Anthony was the next performer to present. She introduced to the Music Matters stage the musical artist, Avery Wilson. He had a very flowing, melodic voice, and he hit some pretty high notes as he sang.
After the break, Anderson introduced a strong musical performance from The Weeknd. Flames came up from the stage, and the lead singer held the audience entranced with his musical performance. Then, Alicia Keys joined in, playing the piano and singing.
Kelly Rowland was next, talking about highlights from past BET Awards shows, like when Michael Jackson put a cape on James Brown. She mentioned when Charlie Wilson was honored, and then Wilson came out and sang a little bit. They both presented the BET Awards 2015 Award for Best New Artist. They called the winner via a Samsung smartphone.
The winner was Sam Smith, but he was not there. Anderson answered his smartphone, instead, and accepted Smith’s award, saying that Smith “didn’t think he would win the award, because he was white.”
Following more commercials, the BET Awards 2015 came back on. Donnie McClurkin performed the Andrae Crouch song, The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power. He took the audience to church with his powerful performance honoring the late and great Crouch.
More commercials followed, and then…Bad Boy Entertainment musical artists pumped up the audience with their performance in yet another highlight of the BET Awards 2015 show. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was one of the singers behind the Bad Boy reunion of Faith Evans, Mario Winans, Harve Pierre, The LOX, Ma$e and Lil Kim. They did a bangin’ medley of some of their greatest hits. The female backup dancers in swimsuits were a nice addition.
Back on after a break, Anderson and Ross introduced the next performers, singing Watch Me. Then, Anderson said, “I present to you, Terence J.!” He introduced the Samsung contest winner, Rebecca, who would introduce the next Music Matters Artist. She also got hooked up with a new Nissan car. She introduced the Music Matters artist, Andra Day. Day sang and her voice sounded powerful and packed with emotion.
Bad Boy CEO Combs was the next presenter. He presented the BET Awards Lifetime Achievement Award to iconic musical artist Smokey Robinson. A video clip of Robinson’s history was shown in honor of the man and his music. In the clip, he said that “my favorite subject is love.”
Tori Kelly sang the song Who’s Lovin’ You, written by Robinson for The Jackson 5. She had the audience up on her feet with her performance. Then, Robin Thicke sang another one of Robinson’s hits, Baby, Baby.
Robinson finally came up onto the stage to accept his award. He thanked his friend, Debra Lee, the CEO of BET, for her “years of friendship and support.” He then gave a prayer to the Lord, and thanked God. He also thanked Barry Gordy and his wife. He called his wife his “goalie, who blocked so much from getting to me.”
Then, he sang Life of the Party. People in the audience were singing along, snapping their fingers and clapping as Robinson sang. Robinson also sang Cruisin’, and had people in the crowd dancing with each other and singing with him. He next sang another of his huge hits, My Girl.
Back from another break on the BET Awards 2015 show, Anderson introduced Brown, Minaj and others to sing. They had the audience screaming and cheering for them, waving their arms in the air. It was an incredible performance!
The next BET Awards 2015 show award presented was the Centric Award. The Weeknd won, but he was not there to accept the award.
Coming back from another break, Anderson and Ross were dressed up like Cookie and Lucious Lyon from Empire. They were pretty funny, and Anderson said, “I’m going to write a song about havin’ good hair.” Howard, the real Lucious, came onto the stage, and he introduced his “sons” on Empire to perform a medley of songs from the show.
After that, there was a tribute to ESPN announcer Stuart Scott. It was a touching tribute. When a Man Loves a Woman, Stand By Me and The Thrill Is Gone were three of the songs that were sung in tribute to the late B.B. King.
Michael B. Jordan then talked about the terrible “act of domestic terrorism that happened in North Charleston, South Carolina.” He talked about the Black Lives Matter movement, and said, “We applaud your unshakable, unbreakable strength.”
Anderson introduced Big Sean, who sang One Man Can Change the World off of his latest album, Dark Sky Paradise, as the lyrics to it were shown behind him. He said his “first album dropped four years ago.”
Lightning flashed behind him as he sang and rapped. The audience sang along with him as he sang “Way, way up, I feel blessed.” He then sang I Don’t F**k With You, and he had the audience on their feet, singing and dancing along.
The CEO of BET, Miss Debra L. Lee, was then introduced. She said that Whitney Houston sang, “I believe the children are our future.” She presented Tom Joyner with the BET Humanitarian Award. She talked about how Joyner has always been an advocate for education; first on the radio and then on BET, and how his Tom Joyner Foundation has helped raise over $65 million to help educate students.
Lionel Richie was one of the celebs who spoke in a video clip in praise of Joyner and “his passion for the betterment of his community.” Lee said she was proud to present the award to Joyner. He came up onto the stage to the song Atomic Dog by George Clinton.
Joyner thanked BET for the award, and talked about the hate crimes in the headlines. He said it is important to save black education, black TV and black radio. “We must not rely on mainstream media to tell our story,” Joyner told the audience.
Next on the BET Awards 2015, Janet Jackson was given a much-deserved award. She has sold 145 million records, and is the only artist to have ever had seven top 10 hits on one album. A video was shown of her long career and concert performances. There was then a dance tribute to Jackson with Tinashe, Jason Derulo and Ciara among others, to songs like Rhythm Nation.
Jackson then came out onto the stage to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Her mom and dad were there to see her get the award. She said her “heart was so full,” and she thanked God, her parents and her “entire family,” as well as “everyone who performed in the tribute tonight.”
The Cricket Fandemonium Award and Best R&B Pop Artist were among the last big awards presented. They were both won by Brown.
K. Michelle then sang. She and her backup dancers were dressed in sexy, two-piece outfits with knee-high black boots on. Tamar Braxton came onto the stage to sing If I Don’t Have You. She belted out the lyrics in another of the night’s highlights.
Zendaya then presented a Coca-Cola award to a contest winner, who presented the 2015 Coca-Cola Viewer’s Choice Award. The winner was…Nicki Minaj, featuring Drake and Lil Wayne. Minaj seemed to lose her train of thought, saying, “What’s this award for?” She was told “Viewer’s Choice,” and then she thanked everyone for getting the award, and for “everyone having understood my work.”
The BET Awards 2015 show, filled with hot music, brought out some of the biggest stars of today’s music and entertainment to celebrate and honor the winners of the awards. It was an entertaining, highlight-filled awards show that was a must-see for anyone who is a fan of great music.
Opinion by Douglas Cobb
Edited by Jennifer Pfalz
BET Awards 2015
Photo Courtesy of rocor’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License