Taraji P. Henson and Connie Orlando discuss ‘BET Awards 2022’

Both ladies are looking forward to a spectacular opening and grand entrance.

Taraji P. Henson holds many hats:  Golden Globe winning actress, businesswoman, activist, and now two-time host of the BET Awards.

As previously reported by theGrio, Henson returns this Sunday as host for the highly anticipated awards show known as “culture’s biggest night.” Last year’s program was the highest-rated show on television for adults aged 18-49. Considering this year’s lineup, it won’t be a surprise if it dominates the ratings once again. 

TheGrio spoke with Henson and Connie Orlando, BET’S executive vice president of specials, music programming and music strategy, about the upcoming awards show and Henson’s return as host. 

Taraji P. Henson thegrio.com
Taraji P. Henson will host the “BET Awards 2022” after a successful debut last year. The awards ceremony airs live at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 26, 2022, on BET. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

“We have all grown up with Taraji; she is family,” Orlando said. “To see her grace that stage, she is so funny. She is exactly the person we need to set the tone. Literally, three minutes after last year’s show, I was like, ‘Hey, can you do next year’s show’?”

Henson also opened up about her feelings returning for the second year. “That’s the only person I am competing with, the woman that hosted last year,” she said, admitting that there are definitely challenges with hosting back-to-back years and in many ways she looks at this as her “sophomore album.”  

Henson’s use of a music reference to describe her second outing as a BET Awards host is apt because the Golden Globe winner shared her passion for music. She even went as far as to disclose that she considered debuting her music skill to the world but felt that the music wasn’t ready. “I’m not going to lie to you, I tried. But because it’s a debut it can’t be rushed. I have to do it right,” she said.

When it comes to Henson’s dreams, music is definitely a priority and fans may get something in the future. “The music part of my talent that I haven’t really shared with my fans, that will not go away and I can’t seem to run away from [Miss Hannigan, Shug Avery],” Henson disclosed. “That means it’s something that’s unresolved in my life and I don’t like to walk away with unresolved issues.”

Although her musical talents won’t be on display at this year’s award show, Henson is very excited about her entrance. “It’s going to be another jaw-dropping entrance. I love entrances if you haven’t noticed,” she said. “It sets the tone for the show. You can’t have a lull in the opening of the show and then expect the energy to pick back up. You have to get that audience from the moment you say ‘Welcome to the BET Awards.’”

The opening is a moment from this year’s show that Orlando is also looking forward to. “The open is going to be out of this world; it’s one not to miss,” she said.

The show will also feature performances from Chloe, Lizzo and a special Lifetime Achievement Award tribute to Sean “Diddy” Combs. 

Orlando, who worked with Diddy early in his career along with the legendary Hype Williams, said it is “personally so gratifying to be able to honor him this year.”

“BET Awards 2022” will air live on BET at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 26, from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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