Tributes, speeches and performances overshadow accolades

The BET Awards were held in downtown Los Angles at Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE.

After the Billboard’s partly Prince tribute in April, BET Networks promised its tribute was going to give the fans exactly what they needed – and they kept their word.Janelle Monáe belts her tribute to Prince

With a series of tributes paying homage to the purple one, there were plenty of back-to-back performances to satisfy every Prince fan.

From Janelle Monáe who performed “Delirious,” “Kiss,” “Pop Life” and “I Would Die for You,” Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Sheila E, Tori Kelly, Jennifer Jesse Williams accepts his award from Debra LeeHudson to Maxwell, there were several energetic performers singing countless Prince hits.

Held in downtown Los Angles at Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE, the annual event was hosted by “Black-ish” co-stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross.

One of the highlights of the three-hour evening came when actor and civil rights activist Jesse Williams delivered a passionate speech on race relations. Best known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series “Grey’s Anatomy,” 34-year old Williams received the Humanitarian Award, which was presented to him by BET Chairman and CEO Debra Lee. His powerful speech that took on racial issues, social justice and cultural appropriation earned him a standing ovation.   Boxer Muhammad Ali was also honored and Samuel L. Jackson who has racked up over 100 film credits took home the other big award of the evening – a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Since its inception in 2001, the show has been one of BET’s highest rated programs with the award show being one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company.

Check out the full winners of BET Awards 2016 below:BET AWARDS 2016

Best Female R&B / Pop Artist

Best Male R&B / Pop Artist
Bryson Tiller

Best Group 
Drake & Future

Best Collaboration
Rihanna Ft. Drake – Work

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj

Video of the Year

Video Director of the Year
Director X

Best New Artist
Bryson Tiller

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award
Kirk Franklin

Best Actress
Taraji P. Henson

Best Actor
Michael B. Jordan

YoungStars Award
Amandla Stenberg

Best Movie
Straight Outta Compton

Sportswoman of the Year Award
Serena Williams

Sportsman of the Year Award
Stephen Curry

Centric Award

Best International Act: Africa
Black Coffee (South Africa)

Best International Act: UK

BET Global Good Award Honoree:
Akon (Senegal)

Viewer’s Choice “Best International” Artist:
Falz (Nigeria)

Samantha Ofole-Prince is an entertainment journalist who covers industry-specific news. Follow her on twitter @SamanthaOfole


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