On June 24, 2003, Los Angeles was invaded by some of music’s biggest stars and Hollywood’s hottest actors. Mo’Nique brought a feminine feel to the show as hostess and shared the spotlight with performers Missy Elliott, India.Arie and G-Unit, among others.
The surprise highlights, however, came from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s sexy performance, which showed everyone just how "Crazy in Love" they were. The old school got to teach the new with a greatest hits throwback performance by DJ Premier, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash and Kid Capri. To everyone’s amazement, the King of Pop honored the Godfather of Soul with a dance, James Brown’s signature cape move and a moving speech on how the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was his musical idol.
The winners were no less exciting as BET’s founding father Bob Johnson presented basketball great Earvin 'Magic' Johnson with a Humanitarian Award for his work in AIDS/HIV awareness. Other athletes who took home awards were Kobe Bryant and tennis hotshot Serena Williams. Erykah Badu and Common won Video of the Year with their classic hip hop collaboration “Love of My Life,” and Queen Latifah showed Hollywood she was the next big thing, beating out Halle Berry and Sanaa Lathan.
Snoop Dogg, with the help of Pharrell, gave the ladies exactly what they wanted during their Brazilian-inspired performance of “Beautiful,” for which they were nicely rewarded with the Best Collaboration Award. And that’s exactly what the 2003 BET Awards were — beautiful.