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BET Awards 2020: Beyonce, Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion and Michael B Jordan among winners

Beyonce

Story by Jack Foley

LIZZO, Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion and Michael B Jordan were among the winners at the 2020 BET Awards, which were handed out on Sunday, June 28, 2020.

Comedian and Insecure actress Amanda Seales hosted the annual show, which organisers this year said “expanded its footprint to go beyond the confines of a traditional stage show in response to safety precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking a first for the network”.

The awards celebrate creative expression and Black excellence across music, film, television, sports and philanthropy.

Beyoncé grabbed most of the headlines after accepting an honour for her humanitarian work. She used her speech to urge black communities to vote in the upcoming US elections “like our life depends on it”.

Dedicating her award to protesters around the country, the star said: “You’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain. I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system.”

Beyoncé was presented with her award by Michelle Obama, who praised the star’s commitment to the black community.

“You can see it in everything she does, from her music that gives voice to black joy and black pain, to her activism that demands justice for black lives,” she said. “And she’s doing it all while staying devoted to her children and the loved ones she holds dear. To my girl, I just want to say – you inspire me. You inspire all of us.”

The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, were reflected throughout this year’s ceremony.

In another of the night’s powerful moments, DaBaby – who won best male hip-hop artist – re-enacted the last moments of Mr Floyd’s life, rapping his hit Rockstar with his face pressed against the ground as a police officer knelt on his neck.

The performance also featured images from protests, as dancers held signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund The Police”, as the rapper and Roddy Ricch danced on top of police cars.

A further live highlight featured an all-star performance of Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem Fight The Power, featuring Nas, YG, The Roots’ Black Thought and Rapsody.

Jennifer Hudson delivered a gospel rendition of Nina Simone’s Young, Gifted and Black, while Alicia Keys performed a haunting version of her new single, A Perfect Way To Die. The singer was seen playing the piano in a deserted city, surrounded by murals to Floyd, Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Sandra Bland.

The high class performances were made possible due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the US, which meant the awards themselves were a virtual event. This meant that the performances and speeches were pre-taped, allowing for dramatic stagings and high production values.

Of the other notable winners, Lizzo was named best female R&B/pop artist ahead of Beyoncé, who has won the category 10 times, including the last six years in a row.

While another first-time winner was Megan Thee Stallion, who was crowned best female hip-hop artist, after facing down a challenge from two former winners: Cardi B and seven-time champion Nicki Minaj.

Chris Brown won best male R&B/pop artist for a record fifth time.

And Michael B. Jordan picked up his third best actor trophy – tying him with Denzel Washington for the most wins in the category.

Beyoncé’s eight-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter was also a winner, picking up an award for her contribution to the song Brown Skin Girl, from her mother’s Lion King album.

And gymnast Simone Biles – who recently debuted a never-before-seen triple-twist, double back dismount from a balance beam – won sportswoman of the year for the first time.

She beat tennis legend Serena Williams, who had won 12 times in the category, including the last six years in a row.

Issa Rae was named best actress, ahead of the likes of Cynthia Erivo, Regina King, Angela Bassett and Spider-Man and Euphoria star Zendaya.

While Queen & Slim, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith (in her first role), was named best film ahead of Bad Boys For Life, Eddie Murphy comeback Dolemite Is My Name and Harriet.

The 2020 BET winners and nominees in full (winners appear in bold)

BEST FEMALE R&B/POP ARTIST
Beyonce
H.E.R.
Jhene Aiko
Kehlani
Lizzo
Summer Walker

BEST MALE R&B/POP ARTIST
Anderson Paak
Chris Brown
Jacquees
Khalid
The Weeknd
Usher

BEST GROUP
Chloe X Halle
City Girls
Earthgang
Griselda
Jackboys
Migos

BEST COLLABORATION
Chris Brown Ft. Drake: No Guidance
DJ Khaled Ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend: Higher
Future Ft. Drake: Life Is Good
H.E.R. Ft. YG: Slide
Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign: Hot Girl Summer
Wale Ft. Jeremih: On Chill

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST
DaBaby
Drake
Future
Lil Baby
Roddy Ricch
Travis Scott

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST
Cardi B
Doja Cat
Lizzo
Megan Thee Stallion
Nicki Minaj
Saweetie

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Chris Brown Ft. Drake: No Guidance
DaBaby: Bop
DJ Khaled Ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend: Higher
Doja Cat: Say So
Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign: Hot Girl Summer
Roddy Ricch: The Box

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Benny Boom
Cole Bennett
Dave Meyers
Director X
Eif Rivera
Teyana “Spike Tee” Taylor

BEST NEW ARTIST
Danileigh
Lil Nas X
Pop Smoke
Roddy Ricch
Summer Walker
YBN Cordae

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Cuz I Love You: Lizzo
Fever: Megan Thee Stallion
Homecoming: The Live Album: Beyonce
I Used to Know Her: H.E.R.
KirK: DaBaby
Please Excuse Me For Being AntisociaL: Roddy Ricch

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD
Fred Hammond: Alright
John P. Kee Ft. Zacardi Cortez: I Made It Out
Kanye West: Follow God
Kirk Franklin: Just For Me
Pj Morton Ft. Le’Andria Johnson & Mary Mary: All In His Plan
The Clark Sisters: Victory

BEST ACTRESS
Angela Bassett
Cynthia Erivo
Issa Rae
Regina King
Tracee Ellis Ross
Zendaya

BEST ACTOR
Billy Porter
Eddie Murphy
Forest Whitaker
Jamie Foxx
Michael B. Jordan
Omari Hardwick

YOUNGSTARS AWARD
Alex Hibbert
Asanta Blackk
Jahi Di’Allo Winston
Marsai Martin
Miles Brown
Storm Reid

BEST MOVIE
Bad Boys For Life
Dolemite Is My Name
Harriet
Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce
Just Mercy
Queen & Slim

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
Ajee Wilson
Claressa Shields
Coco Gauff
Naomi Osaka
Serena Williams
Simone Biles

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kawhi Leonard
LeBron James
Odell Beckham Jr.
Patrick Mahomes II
Stephen Curry

BET HER AWARD
Alicia Keys: Underdog
Beyonce Ft. Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid & Saint Jhn: Brown Skin Girl
Ciara Ft. Lupita Nyong’o, Ester Dean, City Girls & La La: Melanin
Layton Greene: I Choose
Lizzo Ft. Missy Elliott: Tempo
Rapsody Ft. PJ Morton: Afeni

VIEWER’S CHOICE AWARD
Chris Brown Ft. Drake: No Guidance
DaBaby: Bop
Future Ft. Drake: Life Is Good
Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Nicki Minaj: Hot Girl Summer
Roddy Ricch: The Box
The Weeknd: Heartless

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Innoss’B (DRC)
Sho Madjozi (South Africa)
Dave (UK)
Stormzy (UK)
Ninho (France)
S.Pri Noir (France)

VIEWER’S CHOICE: BEST NEW INTERNATIONAL ACT
Rema (Nigeria)
Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)
Celeste (UK)
Young T & Bugsey (UK)
Hatik (France)
Sracy (France)