Currently in their 19th year, the BET Awards celebrated the very best in black and entertainment and culture. Hosted by Girls Trip star Regina Hall, the 2019 BET Awards were no different, with performances by some of the hottest acts in music, like Cardi B, Lizzo, H.E.R., Migos, Lil Nas X, and Meek Mill, and actors such as Taraji P. Henson, Lena Waithe, and Morris Chestnut on stage to present.
The show featured a ton of highlights. The late Nipsey Hussle was posthumously named the recipient of the Humanitarian Award, which featured special tribute performances by Marsha Ambrosius, John Legend, DJ Khaled, and YG. Rihanna presented Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-nominated actress Mary J. Blige with he prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry became the Ultimate Icon. Billy Ray Cyrus was also there.
But what about the stuff we didn’t see during show? Of course Lil Nas X got “starstruck” by Rihanna. We assume everybody would. Here’s a few more things you didn’t see on TV at the 2019 BET Awards.
The 2019 BET Awards host was nervous about the gig
Host Regina Hall spoke with Hollywood Life during rehearsals for the 2019 BET Awards, and admitted she was a ball of nerves. “Everything just has to come together, so I think probably the fact that it’s live, there’s not like wait, cut, can we just reshoot that? So, probably the live aspect of the show has got me most nervous,” the Black-ish star explained. “But it’s like that for me even with shooting, before shooting is when you are the most nervous. When you actually go on set and you actually start working it all goes away.”
While she was stressed about her own performance, Hall couldn’t wait to see some of her favorite female performers take the stage. “I think that’s what always makes the show so good, so I’m excited to see Cardi B. I’ve never seen her perform live before so I can’t wait to see her. I have been having so much fun listening to Cardi B, her music is a really great,” she explained. “And I’m excited for Lizzo — she is a lot of fun and she’s going to be on the show too, so that’s really exciting. And I love all my originals so I am very excited to hear the Mary Blige tribute.”
The 2019 BET Awards pre-show had some issues
A pre-show is supposed to get the crowd hyped, but the 2019 BET Awards pre-show was marred by technical difficulties and a less than enthusiastic crowd. Twitter made sure to let BET know. “This is the WORST BET Awards pre-show ever hopefully the main show isn’t this bad,” one viewer tweeted. “I think @BET forgot their Awards show was tonight. They are not prepared AT ALL!!” another user exclaimed.
“At this point fire the whole tech department,” another user tweeted. “What in the low budget public access in the middle of the night ish are we watching?” one user quipped. “How y’all 19 years in and still can’t get it right?” yet another disappointed viewer asked. “This pre-show so ghetto, audio goin in and out, audience trash, and these outfits on bougie section 8,” another user wrote.
The #BETAwards hashtag quickly became a roast session and calls for it to be over already. “Between these technical difficulties, performances and outfits I’m over the pre-show #BETAwards,” one user tweeted. “People telling on themselves about the teleprompter, everything is delayed, interviews dry, outfits trash, and the sound is terrible. I can’t this year,” another user wrote.
However, one user realized it didn’t really matter. “Twitter: This preshow is unorganized and ghetto BET: Yet…you’re still watching #BetAwards,” he joked.
This 2019 BET Awards freshman was excited to share with 'her people'
The 2019 BET Awards marked the first time flutist and twerker extraordinaire, Lizzo, performed on the show. She couldn’t have been more excited by the prospect. “This is a big deal to me because I’ve been doing music for a long a** time,” she told ET on the red carpet. “Like, I’ve been putting music out for, like, the last 10 years and playing shows. But to play for black people, my people … I’ve been making music as a big black woman for big black women.” She added, “And so now this just shows that my music is finally reaching the black community and I’m just so excited to just share with my people today.”
She went on to perform her smash hit “Truth Hurts” wearing a wedding dress and arriving on top of a giant wedding cake. And yes, there was a flute solo and much twerking. The crowd went wild, and Lizzo earned a standing ovation from a huge star. “Lizzo brought Rihanna, or as she’s now known, Our Lady of Perpetual Day Drinking, to her feet,” The Undefeated tweeted.
Everyone missed Beyoncé at the 2019 BET Awards
“Why is Beyoncé still being nominated?! At this point she should just have her own category that only she can win, and the trophy should be called The Beyoncé,” The Daily Show‘s Roy Wood, Jr. said. Before the broadcast, Billboard reported that the “Formation” singer was set to break a BET Awards show record by “vying to win best female R&B/pop artist for the 10th time; the sixth year in a row.” SPOILER: She won, beating out SZA, Ella Mai, H.E.R., Teyana Taylor, and her sister Solange.
However, actually seeing Beyoncé at the BET Awards is a different story. The last time she attended was in 2016 when she performed “Freedom” with Kendrick Lamar. 2019 was a big year for the Queen B, so one would assume she’d make an appearance. Alas, she continued her streak of being a no-show.
One Twitter user didn’t appreciate that. “They need to stop nominating Beyoncé. Sorry not sorry! She too good for the BET Awards now. She hasn’t attended in years. Quit kissing her a**,” she tweeted. We highly doubt that will happen any time soon.
Jacquees got upset that he wasn't nominated
Okay, “upset” might be an understatement. When the BET Awards released the nominees list on June 12, 2019, Jacquees was left off, and the Atlanta-based R&B singer took to social media a few days later to share his thoughts on what he perceived as a snub.
“Hold on… How in the f**k am I not nominated for a BET Award?” he said in the now-deleted Instagram video (via The Shade Room). “Bruh, how the f**k is that possible?” he then asked an unseen person in the video. They agreed with his assessment. The “Come Thru” singer then turned his attention back to his followers to let his feelings known. “What the f**k, I ain’t gon’ lie. I feel disrespected at this point,” he continued. “Maybe I gotta work harder. But how hard you gotta work when you nominate n***as that don’t even … nevermind.”
A day later, Jacquees hinted that Migos’ Offset had a talk with him that made him refocus his energy. “My n***a @OffsetYRN had to remind me of the mission yesterday,” he tweeted. His next tweet promoted his performance at the BET Experience the weekend before the BET Awards. Hopefully Jacquees and BET are on speaking terms now.
Tyler Perry namedropped another BET Awards Ultimate Icon recipient
Media mogul Tyler Perry was the recipient of the Ultimate Icon Award at the 2019 BET Awards for his continued “cultural impact” in the entertainment industry. “Perry’s unique brand of inspirational entertainment has authentically spoken to and impacted black culture and helped shape the future of black entertainment,” BET said in its announcement of the honor.
ET‘s Kevin Frazier spoke with the multi-hyphenate artist on the red carpet before the show to get his thoughts on receiving the prestigious award. “To join people like Janet Jackson, you know, and folks who have done this, gotten this award, it’s pretty awesome,” Perry said. “I’m really, really excited about this. And they didn’t have to do this, so I’m really, really excited.”
He also dropped some more information about his upcoming BET show The Oval. “[It’s] called The Oval, it’s set in the White House. It’s not a political show. It’s just about following the family home, following the butler home, following the Secret Service home and all their lives,” he dished.
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