It was a night full of electrifying performances, emotional speeches and unforgettable moments at the “BET Awards” ’14 — also known as the “Black World Cup,” according to hilarious host Chris Rock — which aired live from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE on Sunday, June 29th.
Pharrell Williams opened the show with an energetic rendition of “Come Get It Bae” surrounded by a bevy of cheerleaders, and was joined by surprise performer and fellow Virginia native, the amazing Missy Elliott, who brought the crowd to their feet to “Pass That Dutch.” Williams became a familiar face on the stage after winning both “Best Male R&B/Pop Artist” and “Video of the Year,” and again coming on to present music icon Lionel Richie with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Young Money and Beyoncé took home the most trophies with three awards, as did acclaimed film “12 Years A Slave” which swept the film award categories. Pharrell Williams and August Alsina each won two awards.
The tribute to Richie included a presentation of classics “Hello” and “Still” by John Legend and a pulsating rendition of “Brick House” by Ledisi. Just before Richie came on stage to accept his award, Yolanda Adams delivered a soulful, inspired performance of “Jesus Is Love,” bringing the crowd to its feet (and some to tears!) and prompting Richie to admit he was “glad [he] sang the song first.” Richie showed off his own skills when he sat at the piano and serenaded the audience with “Easy,” then got the crowd dancing along to “All Night Long.”
Chris Brown made a triumphant return to the “BET Awards” stage that drew a standing ovation. He proved he hasn’t missed a beat delivering an incredible performance of “Loyal,” which was amped up even more with appearances by Lil Wayne, Tyga and Travis Barker.
Always one to get the crowd going, Lil Wayne got the mosh pit popping with “Krazy” and “Believe Me.” Jennifer Hudson showed off her incredibly powerful pipes during a performance of “Walk It Out” and debut of her new single “It’s Your World” as a disco roller derby swirled around her. One of today’s hottest rising stars, Jhené Aiko joined John Legend on stage for one of the most impressive performances of the evening.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first album, Usher performed an action-packed medley of his biggest hits, including “Yeah!” “Confessions,” “Caught Up” and “Love In This Club,” which drew a standing ovation. Nicki Minaj gave an dramatic Alice In Wonderland-inspired performance of “Chi-Raq” and “Pills N Potions,” filling the stage with oversized mushrooms, a contemporary dancer and a white rabbit.
T.I. showed off his lyrical prowess with “No Mediocre,” while Iggy Azalea wowed the crowd with her skills with her hit single “Fancy.” Fan and crowd favorite August Alsina, whose earlier performance alongside Trey Songz and Chris Brown drew squeals from all of the ladies in the house, took home the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award. Robin Thicke gave a mesmerizing performance of “Forever Love,” while surprise performers Troop, Color Me Badd and Silk scored huge cheers, as each group took the stage for their biggest hits for a ’90s throwback medley of “All I Do Is Think of You,” “I Wanna Sex You Up” and “Freak Me.”
Presenter Kerry Washington, making her first television appearance since giving birth to daughter Isabelle in April, got in on the night’s fun with co-presenter Kevin Hart, who tried to convince the crowd that he was, in fact, Oliver Pope, a reference to Kerry’s alter-ego Olivia Pope on her hit show “Scandal.”
Taking a cue from Ellen DeGeneres’ pizza delivery at this year’s Oscar Awards, Rock provided the audience with a delivery of Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles, which they accepted with enthusiasm. Rock had the crowd laughing throughout the night, thanks to his riffs on a range of hot topics, from Donald Sterling to Jay-Z and Solange to Dr. Dre and the Beats/Apple deal.
A taped performance of Beyoncé and Jay-Z of “Partition” capped the epic night, which delivered on its promise to be the hottest ticket in town. The “BET Awards” ’14 drew the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports, with appearances by Gabrielle Union, Keke Palmer, Regina Hall, Larenz Tate, Bow Wow, Keshia Chante, Eva Marcille, Terrence Jenkins, Keyshia Cole, Mike Tyson, Nick Cannon, Zendaya, DeSean Jackson, Boris Kodjoe, Gary Owen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chadwick Boseman, Tyrese and Nate Parker.
Tim King (Founder, President and CEO of Urban Prep Academies) and Denzel Thompson (a 19-year-old founder and manager of a successful community urban farm and garden) were recognized as the 2014 Shine-A-Light recipients.
The “BET Awards” is one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The “BET Awards” franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET’s #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers and athletes in 19 categories.
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
Beyoncé f/ JAY Z – Drunk In Love
Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Video of the Year
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Video Director of the Year
Best New Artist
Best Gospel Artist
12 Years a Slave
Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Subway Sportsman of the Year
Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
August Alsina f/ Trinidad Jame$ – I Luv This
Jhené Aiko – The Worst
Best International Act: Africa
Best International Act: UK
Krept & Konan
Encore viewings of the show will air on BET on:
· Monday, June 30 at 7 p.m.* (immediately followed by the post-show)
· Saturday, June 5 at 8 p.m.*
· Thursday, June 10 at 7 p.m.*
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.