The best 2016 BET Awards moments had it all! Insane performances, heartfelt acceptance speeches and of course the recognition of black excellence. A lot to cover so let’s get right into it!
The Best 2016 BET Awards Moments
Let’s begin right at the top of the show. The BET Awards for 2016 began with a surprise performance by Beyonce. One and all were in complete shock as Queen Bey’s dancers emerged in full formation!
Just days before the awards ceremony BET had caused a major chain reaction on Twitter. They tweeted out that Rihanna’s Anti album was better than Bey’s Lemonade album. Immediately, tweeters began weighing in on the subject.
Many who saw the tweet along with the Beyhive felt that BET had sealed their fate when it came to any chance of Beyonce performing during the show. The network had also previously come under fire before by pleading with Beyonce to “brush her baby’s hair.” Both of these instances left fans feeling that a performance was just out of the question.
Besides social media drama there was also the fact that Beyonce is right in the middle of a world tour. The next stop being across the pond. The odds seemed stacked to Beyonce being a no show.
Beyonce Gets Her Freedom
Nevertheless, no tweet or hair drama was going to stop the queen! Beyonce took the stage with a flurry of dancers stomping and wading through a pool of water. As the performance progressed so did the intensity and surprises.
Beyonce entertained the crowd with her single, Freedom. Each time the hook came around, Beyonce and her dancers kicked, shook as well as splashed up gallons of water. The imagery was fantastic!
Beyonce’s opening easily found its way onto The Best 2016 BET Awards Moments because it was more like a theatrical spectacle. Things got even more hype when right smack in the middle of the song Kendrick Lamar popped up through the floor of the stage. He belted out lyric after lyric working the audience into a frenzy.
Beyonce and Lamar Take a Dip
As cool as that was things were about to get even more insane. Lamar then joined Beyonce in the pool creating a tag team of musicians expressing themselves through water movement. Water gushed everywhere as Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce danced and heralded their lyrics. As the final notes played all the audience could think was, “Wow!”
This isn’t the first time Bey has played in water during a performance. Bey and the other DC ( Destiny’s Child) members got a little wet too while on tour. Back in 2005, during the “Fullfilled” tour DC doused themselves during their song “Lose My Breath.”
Going back to just Mrs. Carter, the whole playing in water performance looked like serious fun! We wanted to go up on stage so bad and join Bey. Yet, we chose to give Beyonce’s bodyguards an easy night and just enjoy from our seats (LOL).
Nevertheless, if you were not able to catch Beyonce on tour when she rolled into your hometown, the water act is something she does during her actual concert. So in reality, last night Bey gave everyone a taste of her tour for free. Altogether now, “Thanks Bey!”
If you are like us and get a real “kick” out of water performances, there’s a few others that we have loved throughout the years. You will find that even though the premise is the same each one is still as exciting and artistic as the next. Every entertainer is different adding their own flair into the mix. Therefore, you might choose to YouTube “Master of Tides” by Lindsay Stirling or Justin Bieber’s Sorry performance from the 2015 AMAs.
The Best 2016 BET Awards Moments #2
Most award shows devote just one overall performance to commemorate someone. However, BET decided that throughout the show they would pay tribute to the one and only Prince. The network lined up a set of amazing vocalists.
Erykah Badu was the first musician in the lineup to honor Prince. She performed with The Roots backing her up with their sick musical skills. However, before coming to the stage actor Dave Chapelle shared a few words. Dave’s heartfelt yet lighthearted thoughts on Prince comforted all in the audience. Afterwards, Chappelle brought Erykah to the stage.
Erykah instantly got the crowd moving and grooving. The second half of the first Prince tribute performance of the night included Bilal. Bilal stirred the crowd with a sexy rendition of “The Beautiful Ones.”
Legend takes the Stage
These days it seems as though if Stevie Wonder isn’t included in a tribute then it really wasn’t a tribute at all. Wonder has become the go to guy in order to pay respect to our lost musical icons. Makes sense due to Stevie Wonder being a legend himself.
For tribute number two Stevie Wonder performed a duet with Tori Kelly. Their performance was wonderful with beautiful harmonies. Nevertheless, right after they concluded vocals went to a whole other level!
Jennifer Hudson took everyone to church as she belted out Purple Reign. JHud had the audience singing, clapping, jumping up and down, waving their hands in the air and saying, “Amen!” Note after note Hudson just gave us chills.
Hudson is also not new to having tribute duties on award shows. Who of us can forget her heart wrenching tribute to Whitney Houston? Jennifer’s powerful vocals always nicely capture the soul and essence of music’s greats.
Monae Gets Down
Janelle Monae is a petite powerhouse entertainer! During the 2016 BET Awards she performed not one, not two, but FIVE of Prince’s huge hits. Monae got down to: Delirious, Kiss, Pop Life and I Would Die For You.
Her costumes for her performance were as electrifying as her energetic dance moves. Everything she wore was very Prince including her nod to Prince’s butt-less pants days. Monae covered all bases in order to channel Prince perfectly.
The Great Shelia E.!
This woman still has it! We were so blown away by Sheila E. and her beautiful tribute to Prince. She played the drums, slid across the floor, danced and sang with the same level of passion that made her famous. As we watched on she continued to put younger artists on notice. She demonstrated how you really entertain the masses!
As Prince tributes rolled out this year many had the same question, “Where is Shelia E.?” If anyone was going to pay homage it should definitely be someone from the old school Prince camp right? Well, as time went on there still proved to be no sightings of Shelia.
To end their big tribute to Prince BET gave the honor to an insanely talented woman that Prince personally took under his wing. This move was the perfect choice and literally left things on a high note. Her epic performance ended with the raising of a purple guitar high in the air. We would be lying if we said that moment didn’t give us chills.
Samuel L. Jackson Wins Lifetime Award
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the big screen. Thanks to him films have earned billions of dollars. He’s been in more iconic films than we can even count. Star Wars, Jurrasic Park, Pulp Fiction, Eve’s Bayou, S.W.A.T., A Time to Kill, Jungle Fever The Avengers and Do The Right Thing to name a few.
Before going onstage to accept his well-deserved award a video montage was played showcasing Jackson’s award-winning career. Short film clips dashed across screens allowing the audience to relive cinematic history. Everyone from Spike Lee to George Lucas gave recognition to Jackson as being one of the most talented actors of all time.
During his acceptance speech we were touched when Samuel spotlighted the women in his life that helped him achieve greatness. Women such his aunt, wife and daughter who gave him the support, push and “acting bug” that helped him attain success. They say behind every great man is a strong woman. Apparently, in Samuel L. Jackson’s life there has been a number of strong black women behind him and he’s not afraid or ashamed to admit it.
Congratulations Samuel L. Jackson! We thank you for being an amazing example and the epitome of class.
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