Diddy dropped it like it’s hot at the BET Awards — figuratively and literally.
The entertainer fell during an exciting performance Sunday that celebrated Bad Boy Records’ 20th year anniversary, one of the night’s highlights. Lil Kim, Mase, Faith Evans, 112 and The Lox joined Diddy as they performed a medley of past hits. A video montage of rap king Notorious B.I.G. played in the background as his verse from “Mo Money Mo Problems” played.
BET Awards co-host Anthony Anderson brought on the laughs when he dressed as singer Sam Smith, who won best new artist but didn’t attend the awards show.
Anderson sported a suit similar to Smith’s taste and rocked a wig that mirrored the British singer’s hairstyle.
“Sam Smith isn’t here tonight because he’s white and he didn’t think he would win at the BET Awards,” Anderson said as the audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles burst into laughter. “He didn’t think he could win. But we showed him that we love him, too.”
“This award is going to stay with me for you not showing up to BET,” Anderson sang, referencing Smith’s ubiquitous hit, “Stay With Me.”
The show Sunday brought a mix of funny and serious moments. Rapping on top of a police car with a large American flag waving behind him, hip-hop prince Kendrick Lamar kicked off the BET Awards with a dose of seriousness, but also brought a fiery energy thanks to his charisma and his song’s beat.
Members in the audience rapped along to “Alright,” while background dancers danced in the aisles and others onstage wore black and waved the American flag behind Lamar. He later won best male hip-hop artist.
“This is for Compton, this is for Watts,” the Los Angeles-born rapper said.
Janelle Monae and Jidenna also brought a serious vibe to the stage when they performed “Classic Man”: The singers and their background dancers wore large “I’m a Classic Man” signs around their necks, a reference to the historic “I Am a Man” civil rights era protest signs.
Anderson and fellow “Black-ish” actor Tracee Ellis Ross followed Lamar’s performance with a hilarious song poking fun at pop culture, including Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” case, Pharrell’s signature hat and Rachel Dolezal, the former president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.
“Is white really the new black,” Anderson sang as two photos of Dolezal — one old, the other recent — appeared on screen.
Chris Brown screamed loudly, Nicki Minaj whipped out her phone to record the moment and Laverne Cox was teary-eyed as Janet Jackson entered the stage at the BET Awards.
The pop star was honored Sunday with the Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award as she made one of her first public performances in sometime as she readies a new album and tour this fall.
“It’s been a very long moment to this journey … my heart is so full,” Jackson said onstage, where her mother and father sat next to one another. “To my beautiful mother, to my beautiful father, and to my entire family, your love is unbreakable.”
An impressive Ciara, Jason Derulo and Tinashe paid tribute to the 49-year-old veteran by mimicking her signature dance moves at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“Twenty five years ago we created ‘Rhythm Nation,’ hoping the world would be a better place, but today there’s even more to be done,” Jackson said. “And last but not least, my loving husband, and to all the fans. I’ve missed you so much and I love you so much.”
Rihanna was among the A-listers who sat in the audience, and she sang along during Omarion and Chris Brown’s performance of the pop hit, “Post to Be.” Alicia Keys surprised the audience when she joined The Weeknd to sing his hit, “Earned It.”
Smokey Robinson received the Lifetime Achievement Award, performed a medley of his hits and earned a standing ovation from the audience when he spoke about Hollywood and humility. Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke and rising singer Tori Kelly paid tribute to the icon. Tom Joyner was presented with the Humanitarian Award for his work with historically Black colleges and universities, along with using his syndicated radio platform to bring awareness to issues impacting African-Americans.
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