Last night was the biggest night of the year for BET—the star-studded BET Awards 2013! Of course, I’ve been reviewing this show since I started The Spotlight, so, for the fifth time, here we go!
The pre-show, hosted by Angela Simmons and Bow Wow (they really did fire those other 106 & Park hosts, huh?), was simply the pre-show. Nothing bad. Nothing great either. You watch to see if your favorite artists will be interviewed or if you’ll see them on the red carpet. We saw stars like Mindless Behavior, J. Cole, Big Sean, Charlie Wilson, and power couples like Robin Thicke and Paula Patton, as well Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade. Tamar Braxton even took the first award for the night--the Centric Award for "Love and War!" And her post-baby body looks great! Congrats to her! The performances were nothing spectacular to me, mostly because I don’t listen to or know anybody who performed really. After a while, it all starts to sound the same, so I just waited for the show to begin.
Check out more about the BET Awards below!
Chris Brown opened up the show with the electric "Fine China," the smooth Aaliyah-assisted "Don't Think They Know," and "Love More" with Nicki Minaj. I could see that he’s been working on his vocals a little bit! It wasn’t the best opening, but it definitely got the show off to a good start! Chris Tucker, the host of the night, came out grooving with Ray Chew and the Ray Chew Orchestra. Of course, he cracked his jokes on everyone. Well everyone that he could, because half of everyone weren’t in the seats yet! Ehh, what can you do?
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist went to Miguel for his hot track "Adorn" and album Kaleidoscope Dream. I would have loved to see Justin Timberlake take it, but Miguel definitely has busted his butt this year, putting out great music, so good for him. Afterwards Robin Thicke rocked the stage, performing “Blurred Lines,” with Pharrell, and looking absolutely gorgeous!
Kendrick Lamar took the Best New Artist Award, only he didn’t physically accept it because he was back stage about to perform. Now, I’m not sure what was going on, but between commercials and another award acceptance, he definitely could’ve came out to snag his award real quick! After Gabrielle Douglas accepted her Young Stars Award for her amazing wins with the U.S. Olympic gymnastic team, Kendrick hit the stage, giving the crowd one of the best performances of the night! He rapped “m.A.A.D. City,” and then went into “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” with the legendary Erykah Badu. It was an AMAZING, soulful rendition, one that I said Kendrick needs to record and put on iTunes ASAP! And anybody who thought it was boring or unnecessary is crazy!
Later, Chris Tucker came out with his own little performance of Michael Jackson’s "Human Nature." Though I knew that he was probably going to talk about Michael since they were so close, it was a little weird because “Human Nature” is one of my favorite MJ songs, so it was just…weird. But I appreciate him sharing his memories.
Throughout the night, we saw performances from BET’s Music Matters artists, which stars like J.Cole and Melanie Fiona have been a part of. Singers Austin Brown and Curtis Fields (who showed the power of technology playing guitar on his iPhone!) took the stage. The only thing I hate about when the Music Matters artists perform, is that BET ALWAYS cuts them off! Let them have their moment to shine, so that people can see who they are and what they have to offer!
Later, a choir accompanied R. Kelly, singing a mix of some of his greatest hits and collaborations (a tad bit awkward with “Bump & Grind!). R. Kelly hit the stage singing a medley of classics like "I Wish," "When A Woman's Fed Up," and "Ignition Remix.” Definitely wasn’t expect that, but it was cool. Moments later, La La Anthony and Meagan Good presented the award for Best Gospel to Mary Mary! The Subway Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year went to Lebron James and Gabrielle Douglas, as well.
Mariah Carey then hit the stage, singing her song “Beautiful” with Young Jeezy and Miguel. Miss Mariah was DEFINITELY lip syncing with all of her extra hand motions that we’ve come to know and expect, but she looked AMAZING doing it! The song went straight into Jeezy’s "RIP," which was a very awkward transition, but Jeezy still did a good job with it.
The cast of The Real Husbands of Hollywood later turnt up and presented Jamie Foxx with the Best Actor award for his work in Django Unchained. Columbus Short took the time to promote Diane Latiker who has made an impact on her community of South Chicago with her Kids Off The Block foundation, as well as youth Joshua Williams who came up with Joshua's Foundation that feed and help thousands across this country. I always love these segments, because these are just regular people making an impact. It
The cast of Best Man Holiday presented the Best Female Hip Hop Artist to....who else...Nicki Minaj. It’s come to be expected. Though I don’t take anything away from the work that she’s done, I want a viable female hip hop artist to come out that will give her a run for her money! We also got an exclusive clip of Best Man Holiday, which actually looks like it will be good! I wasn’t sure about a sequel coming out almost 15 years later, but I can’t knock these black actors and actresses getting their money!
Later, Miguel performed "How Many Drinks" with Kendrick Lamar, keeping the audience on their feet as they wondered if he would attempt another disastrous jump. But he kept both feet on the ground, thank God! Taraji P. Henson and Quvenzhané Wallis presented Kendrick Lamar with the Best Male Hip Hop Award, able to say his speech from before. He accepted so humbly and thanked GOD for all of his achievements thus far. I respect him as an artist for sure!
Presented by Justin Timberlake, Charlie Wilson was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his career the Gap Band as well as his own solo career. The video featured clips from Monica, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, and Steve Harvey. India Arie then sang "There Goes My Baby," and Jamie Foxx sang the Gap Band "Yearning For Your Love." He definitely messed up a good bit, but I still got love for him! Stevie Wonder came out with "Burn Rubber On Me" and killed! Of course, Charlie got up and sang "You Are,” as well "Beautiful" with Snoop. Justin even got on the mike with "Signs "and "You Dropped A Bomb on Me,” along with Pharrell. The performance ended with the whole crew and everybody in the audience jamming to "Outstanding." Congrats to Uncle Charlie for his well-deserved award! All of these years in the game, and he is still relevant! Amazing talent! Hands down, the best performance of the night!
Later, J Cole took the stage perfoming "Crooked Smile" and "Power Trip" with Miguel, before Miss Tamela Mann took us to church with "Take Me To The King." Afterwards, Ciara performed “I’m Out” with Nicki Minaj (the video premiered earlier that night), and “Body Party” which has officially grown on me! She got a little crazy with the vocals at the end, but she did a really good job! Ciara is definitely making a big comeback this year!
Best Collaboration went to A$AP Rocky for his hit "Problems" with Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz. Miss Debra Lee then presented the Humanitarian Award to Dwyane Wade for his work under his foundation Wade’s World. He thanked his family and (his words) “Miss Being Mary Jane herself, my beautiful black queen, Gabrielle Union.” It was so precious!
The show then took it to the Islands with a dancehall mix featuring Chaka Demurs and Pliers, Dawn Penn, Elephant Man, and all the rest of them folks on stage! It was a hot performance, and completely unexpected! Anything can happen, BET kept boasting. Later, Chris Brown took the Fandemonium Award for the fourth year in a row. Good for Team Breezy, but still shoutout to the Beyhive! Buzzzzz!!!
2 Chainz later hit the stage with his song "Feds Watching,” which went into "Problems" with A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar (Drake didn’t make it this year.) Drake later won the Coca Cola’s Viewer’s Choice Award for “Started at the Bottom,” which was presented by a little too eager fan! I don’t blame her for being excited, though.
The cast of The Game presented the last award for Best Movie to Think Like A Man, which was a little surprising with the success of Django Unchained. However, it did give the cast an opportunity to plug the sequel, so I can’t be mad at that. Janelle Monae closed the show with her song “Q.U.E.E.N” with Erykah Badu. Some might have called it a boring ending to the show, but I actually really liked it! Janelle brings a great energy, and definitely closed the show on a high note!
Overall, the show was pretty good! The performances were, for the most part, really awesome and entertaining. I definitely enjoyed watching and live tweeting with you al too! One day, I’ll be there live with my media credentials and can REALLY report the business! Until next year!
What did you think of the BET Awards 2013?
Images via BET and UPI/Jim Ruymen