BET Awards Honor 50 Years Of Hip-Hop, Busta Rhymes

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LOS ANGELES — The 2023 BET Awards celebrated 50 years of hip-hop with tributes to the genre’s earliest voices, latest legends and emerging talent during a performance-packed extravaganza that always felt like a party.

The biggest surprise on Sunday was a rare public performance by Quavo and Offset, the surviving members of Migos, who performed “Bad and Boujee” in front of an image of Takeoff, who was killed in a shooting last December. He was 28 years old.

“BET, do it for Take,” the duo yelled near the beginning of their performance, as their backdrop changed from an image of a space shuttle to one of Takeoff taking aim in the air.

Quavo and Offset of Migos perform at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.Mark Terrill/Mark Terrill/Invision/AP

Throughout the show, whether it was Tupac, Warren G, the Notorious B.I.G., Biz Markie or Pop Smoke, performers and emcee Kid Capri paid tribute to the late hip-hop stars, often quickly highlighting a display of their best known hits. In a show where awards are few and far between, Capri and BET kept the emphasis on the music.

Busta Rhymes took home the Lifetime Achievement Award from Swizz Beatz, one of the ceremony’s highest honors. The 12-time Grammy Award-nominated rapper, producer and pioneer figure in hip-hop is widely considered one of the great MCs, with seven Top 10 hits. Billboard Hot 100 Hits to your name

Diddy, Janet Jackson, Chuck D, Missy Elliot, Pharrell Williams and Mariah Carey recorded a video tribute to Rhymes.

Elsewhere, too, old-school hip-hop heroes and modern stars mixed onstage, performing tracks that celebrated rap’s most influential cities and innovation.

Audience members sang (and some took the stage) as Capri and MC Lyte kept the hostless show moving. It was mostly free of hiccups, save for a brief moment of dead air, a hiccup during Patti LaBelle’s performance, and the show lasted nearly four hours, particularly notable for an event scheduled amidst the continual Hollywood Writers Strike.

LaBelle honored the late tina turner with a rendition of his hit «The Best», telling the audience at one point that he couldn’t see the words. «I’m trying, everyone!» she said before entering the chorus.


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Coco Jones accepts the award for best new artist at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.Mark Terrill/Mark Terrill/Invision/AP

The coveted best new artist award went to Coco Jones, in a category that featured only female artists.

“To all my black girls, we have to fight a little harder to get what we deserve,” she said in her acceptance speech. “But don’t stop fighting even when it doesn’t make sense. And you’re not sure how you’re going to get out of those circumstances. Keep pushing because we deserve great things.»

The show took a somber turn for its memorial tribute to black luminaries, including the jazz legend. wayne shorter«The Wire» actor Lance Reddickactor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, NBA star Bill Russell and houston rapper Big Pokeywho died this month.

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