Usher honored at BET Awards 2024, Will Smith performs his song, discusses election

Usher accepts Lifetime Achievement Award at 2024 BET Awards — even though the superstar thought it was It might be a bit early,

The Grammy winner stayed on his feet while a parade of artists performed their hits — Childish Gambino kicked it off with “U Don’t Have to Call,” joined by Keke Palmer, who took the lead on “You Make Me Wanna…” Coco Jones delivered a sweet rendition of “There Goes My Baby,” with Usher and his wife Jenn Goicoechea providing sweet vocals.

Usher accepts Lifetime Achievement Award at 2024 BET Awards
Usher gestures after accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2024 BET Awards at the Peacock Theatre on June 30, 2024 in Los Angeles.Aude Guerrouchi/Reuters


Summer Walker took the stage for “Good Good,” Tinashe performed “Nice and Slow,” Marsha Ambrosius performed “Superstar” and Chlöe performed “Good Kisser.” Teyana Taylor and Victoria Monét teamed up for “Bad Girl,” which mirrored Usher and Beyoncé’s choreography from their performance of the song. Lato brought the energy for “Yeah!” In some ways, the tribute underscored the women who dominated the performances — including their take on the majority of the night.

Following introductions by Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, Usher accepted the award from music executive L.A. Reid.

Usher began his lengthy speech by saying, “Getting here definitely hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.” He deflected the question of timing by stating of his career, “I’m still running and dodging bullets and I still love it (abuse) as much as I did when I was 8.”

Much of his speech could not be heard by listeners at home because it was censored.

He once said, “I forgive everyone who has said anything negative about me, because that inspired me to become who I am.”

Earlier in the night, Will Smith stood in a circle of fire and — along with Friday and gospel choir Sunday Service — debuted his latest single, “You Can Make It,” live.

“I don’t know who needs this right now,” Smith began his set. “But I’m here to tell you that you can make it.”

Kirk Franklin joined in midway through, and the two then rapped together. Smith, who is set to make a comeback, sang “Nobody gets an easy ride.” Slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars two years agoHe said to the room. “There is wisdom in that fire. Dance in your darkest moments.”

2024 BET Awards
Will Smith performs during the 2024 BET Awards at the Peacock Theatre on June 30, 2024 in Los Angeles.Aude Guerrouchi/Reuters


The upcoming presidential election was a big topic of discussion throughout the show. After Killer Mike by Childish Gambino was awarded Album of the Year for “Michael,” the rapper talked about his Grammy arrest and voting in his acceptance speech.

“Technically, I shouldn’t be here. I got handcuffed, and I got escorted out of this building. But I gotta tell you, look at God. Because I’m back, baby. I’m back and I’m winning,” he said in his speech. Killer Mike was arrested earlier this year for a physical altercation at the Grammys, which he said was caused by an “overzealous” security guard; he was not charged for the incident.

“They’ll tell you it’s important who we vote for,” he continued his speech, “and it’s important who we vote for on the big stage. That’s important, but it’s more important that you know who your city council person is, who your prosecutor is.”

Megan Thee Stallion kicked off the show by emerging from an egg — symbolizing her new musical rebirth — then opened the event with an energetic medley of her new singles “Hiss” and “Boa.”

“Bet, where my girls at?” he shouted out to Monét and Jones in the crowd, before launching into “Where Them Girls At” ​​— the track that has become a fan favorite since the release of his third studio album, “Megan,” on Friday.

Taraji P. Henson hosted the show at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles. Her opening monologue was a performance in which Henson rapped “It’s About Us” in a loose parody of Kendrick Lamar’s “Not Like Us”, which he released amid his resumed feud with Drake.

“There’s going to be no beef here tonight,” he joked, “Can we say plant-based?”

Amapiano superstar Tyla, from Johannesburg, South Africa, won two awards at the show, the first of which was the Best International Artist award.

Later in the night, she took home the award for best new artist. “This is crazy,” she said. “I just want to dedicate this to Africa.”

Monét, who won a Grammy Award for best new artist earlier this year, made her BET debut and set a high standard for the performance, performing a full set in just a few minutes with three costume changes and two songs, “On My Mama” and “Alright.”

Sexy Red then took to the stage and performed her beautiful bedroom song “You’re My Everything”, after which she went to another stage and changed costumes – she performed “Get It Sexy” in front of an LED screen which showed dancers dressed in White House and Secret Service costumes.

The show took a new turn when two child rappers, VanVan and Heiress Harris, the daughter of rapper T.I. and singer Tiny Harris, performed their empowerment song “Be You” in the schoolyard.

The award for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist went to SZA and Best Actress went to Regina King, both of whom were not present at the ceremony; the award went to Monét for “On My Mama”. She called her mother to accept it.

Country musician Tanner Adele performed her “Buckle Bunny” and her new song “Cowboy Break My Heart.” Gloriella emerged from the top, and descended with her dancers to join in on “Yeah Glow!” and “Wanna Be” – the latter of which also featured a surprise appearance from Megan Thee Stallion. Shaboozie took the country route with “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” and was joined by rapper J-Kwon, who also appears on the track, making for an unexpected and rewarding collaboration across genres.

Lauryn Hill closed the night with “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” which segued into “Lost Ones,” then introduced her son YG Marley with his reggae tracks “Survival” and “Praise Jah in the Moonlight.” The best part: Wyclef Jean appeared, and the trio — in front of a full-band — performed the Fugees’ “Fu-Gee-La.” The third Fugees member Pras was not present. The rapper, who was accused of multimillion-dollar political conspiracy during two presidents’ terms, was convicted in April.

Leave a Comment