The 2018 BET Awards went down Sunday night in Los Angeles and featured tons of high-energy performances, touching moments, and a few unexpected surprises. Here’s our list of the top 6 moments of the night:
Jamie Foxx Goes Off-Script
Jamie Foxx wasn’t the most impressive host of the star-studded show that aired live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night but the award-winning actor/musician made a good choice when he went off script more than once so he could praise his personal favorites. He asked Michael B. Jordan to come to the stage to recite his moving line from Best Movie winner, Black Panther. “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage,” Jordan recited from the stage. In another detour from the plan, Foxx took time to call Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino up to the stage to receive a round of applause for his song and music video for “This Is America.”
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“This has already proven to be quite a year for our country…School shootings, police brutality, and now the evil act of intentionally separating parents from their children at the border,” he said from the stage. “Typically, the BET Awards honors a celebrity humanitarian who has done something extraordinary for our world, but tonight, we want to honor a few of the individuals who have had the opportunity in their everyday lives to do something unexpected and impactful for our community.”
Legend presented awards to the Waffle House hero, James Shaw Jr., Anthony Borges; a student who was shot five times during the Parkland shooting while protecting fellow students, Mamoudou Gassama; the man who scaled a building in France last month to save a flailing infant Naomi Wadler; the impressive 11-year-old who delivered the mind-blowing speech at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington D.C., Justin Blackman; the only teen to walk out of his North Carolina classroom in protest, and journalist/activist Shaun King. “Don’t be afraid to be a hero,” Legend added.
Meek Mill Returns
The crowd went crazy when Meek Mill delivered a powerful performance of his latest single, “Stay Woke,” a song inspired by his incarceration and recent release from prison. He donned a hoodie that featured XXXtentacion, the 20-year-old rapper who as shot and killed last week, as well as Jimmy Woppo, who was also shot to death last week. The surprisingly artistic performance was poignant and heartbreaking. If you missed it, watch it above.
Nicki Minaj Takes the Stage
Nicki Minaj did not come to play. She wowed the crowd with her super sexy performance that featured YG, Big Sean, and 2 Chainz for their single, “Big Bank.” She also served up two of her own single, “Chun Li” and “Rich Sex” and got extra freaky on a big, sparkly, fake horse.
Anita Baker’s Wise Words
The stars lined up to pay tribute to Lifetime Achievement Awards recipient, Anita Baker and the end result was a real treat. Jamie Foxx sang a few of his favorite Baker hits before Yolanda Adams delivered a flawless performance of “You Bring Me Joy” before Marsha Ambrosius sang “Caught Up in The Rapture” and Ledisi took the stage to perform “Sweet Love.” When Baker accepted her award, she shared wise words for the young ones and urged entertainers to take care of each other. “I would ask that the music be allowed to play, that singers are allowed to sing, and rappers are allowed to rap, and poets are allowed to rhyme,” she said.
H.E.R. is EVERYTHING
When H.E.R. hit the stage, she proved she’s a force to be reckoned with and delighted fans with her insanely consistent vocals and stirring performance. The artist whose real name is Gabi Wilson delivered her single, “Focus” and then killed her turn on the electric guitar while being joined by Daniel Caesar for their hit, “Best Part.”