The BET Awards 2021 opened with a joyful celebration of perseverance that recognized the challenges we all went through in the past year.
Gospel legend Kirk Franklin and rap phenom Lil Baby started the show on a joyful note with their song “We Win,” the first single from the soundtrack of the upcoming film Space Jam: A New Legacy. Franklin hyped up the crowd in his energetic way, yelling, “Get up if you’re glad to be alive!”
Lil Baby was spitting inspirational bars in his first BET Awards performance ever, with lyrics saying, “We will be better than ever/Made a promise we can do it together/And I ain’t breakin my word/I just wish that I could fly like a bird/Get away from this earth/Had to pray a prayer felt I was cursed.”
Franklin and Lil Baby were backed up by Franklin’s signature gospel choir and band, dancing along to Lil Baby as he rapped.
The performance gave the awards a celebratory mood from the jump, one that was only amplified by this year’s live audience. The celebrities and guests clapped along to Franklin and Lil Baby in what felt like an anointing to start off the live show after last year’s virtual awards.