With the main theme of the 2016 Bet Awards being centered around the legacy of Prince, anticipation was high. The show opened up with a splash as Beyonce got everyone in formation performing her song “Freedom”. The icon set the bar high as she danced in a pool of water on stage. The high energy performance went to anothter level when surprise guest Kendrick Lamar joined her. Both artists are huge in the game right now using their celebrity to give a voice to social and political issues.
On April 21, 2016 a legen was lost. The icon Prince died and left the world in dispair. Bet dedicated the entire night to the star with scattered performance throughout the show. Janelle Monáe, Sheila E,Stevie Wonder, Tori Kelly and Jennifer Hudso,Erykah Badu and Bila all gave brillant tributes to Prince. Jennifer Hudson left the audience in tears.
Jessie Willams became every womans #MCM after his speech at the Bet Awards. Grey’s Anatomy actor and social justice advocate Jesse Williams was honored with BET’s Humanitarian Award. His inspirational acceptance speech shook the crowd and the internet. “The more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.” Williams speech reflected on injustices in America targeted towards the African-American community.”This award is not for me. It’s for the real organizers across the country: the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents … that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand.” He not only spoke to ordinary people, but to celebrities demonstrating how they should use their voices for a greater cause and not just materialist pleasure.”The thing is, though. All of us in here getting money? That alone isn’t gonna stop this. Dedicating our lives — dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back, for someone’s brand on our body. When we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies. And now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.”