The BET Awards 2022 was one for the books. Culture’s biggest night was hosted by the lovely and talented award-winning actress and producer Taraji P. Henson live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with legendary rapper and actress MC Lyte as emcee for the night.
There were over a dozen award-winning moments, speeches, show-stopping performances, and many more celebrity guest surprises. Grammy Award-winning singer Lizzo got things started with a dazzling disco-inspired performance of her hit single “About Damm Time,” accompanied by a live band. The singer commemorated the night by pledging $1 million to Planned Parenthood just days after the devastating reversal of the historic landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, which ruled that states may once again outlaw abortions.
Grammy Award-winning rapper and fashion designer Kanye West presented legendary music mogul Sean “Diddy" Combs with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes industry giants who have immensely shaped culture through their extensive careers and have also been transformative leaders that consistently inspire generations. In case you missed it, here are some of the night’s most significant and surprising moments. Check them out below.
Lizzo and Live Nation pledge $1 million to Planned Parenthood and Abortion Funds
Following an energy-packed performance of her hit single "About Damn Time," it was revealed that the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Lizzo pledge to donate $500,000 from her upcoming tour to Planned Parenthood and Abortion Funds. Live Nation agreed to match that amount, bringing the total to $1 million.
Janelle Monae calls out the Supreme Court
While presenting of the award for "Best Female R&B /Pop Artist" Janelle Monae delivered a fiery message to the Supreme Court over their Friday (June 24) decision which overturned Roe v. Wade.
The singer and actress wished the audience a Happy Pride Day, before shouting “F-ck you Supreme Court,” with a prominent middle finger.
“We must celebrate our art by protecting our rights and our truth,” she said elsewhere before introducing the nominees for Best R&B Pop Artist. Grammy Award-winning Jazmine Sullivane ultimately took home the award.
Jack Harlow and Brandy unite on stage
Weeks after rising rapper Jack Harlow foolishly admitted to not recognizing legendary singer Brandy by her voice, the pair united on stage for a unforgettable performance of the Kentucky native's latest single "First Class" that had everyone up and out their seats.
Latto wins "Best New Artist"
Rising rapper Latto, holding back tears, accepted the award for "Best New Artist." During her acceptance speech the "Big Energy" emcee shared, “It’s about giving pro-choice… it’s about never giving in to a man policing my body,” a jab at the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Kirk Franklin calls out the older generation
While accepting the “Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel / Inspiration Award,” for his latest single "We Win" with rapper Lil Baby, gospel legend Kirk Franklin called on the older generation to pass the baton to the new class of musicians, creatives, and everyone in between.
While accepting his trophy, Franklin, who holds the record for the most wins in this category, crowned collaborator and BET Awards 2022 performers Maverick City Music as the next generation in gospel music.
Ella Mai performs with Babyface and Roddy Ricch
For her debut performance on the BET Awards stage, UK singer Ella Mai performed a medley of songs from her latest studio album Heart On My Sleeve. The songwriter brought legendary Babyface and was later joined by rapper Roddy Ricch for her single "How."
Latto and Mariah Carey bring big energy to the BET Awards stage
"Best New Artist" winner Latto cranked up the heat for her performance of "It's Givin" and "Big Energy" remix featuring a surprise appearance from Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress Mariah Carey.
Bill Porter brings ballroom culture to the BET Awards stage
Award-winning actor Billy Porter brought Ballroom culture front and center at the BET Awards 2022 stage featuring appearance from several ballroom figures such as Dashaun Wesley, Shannon Balenciaga, Shaun Ross, Kevin Prodigy, and actress Dominique Jackson
Diddy Accepts the "Lifetime Achievement" Award
Grammy Award-winning musicians Babyface and Kanye West presented Diddy with the "Lifetime Achievement" award following a star-studded tribute.
Jodeci and Mary J Blige performed their Diddy-produced record "Come and Talk to Me" and "I'm Going Down" before the music executive took the stage for medley of his greatest hits featuring several legendary artists including Lil Kim, The Lox, Busta Rhymes, Faith Evans, Maverick City Music choir, Bryson Tiller and rapper-turned-politician Shyne.
Silk Sonic Wins "Album of the Year"
R&B and Soul duet Silk Sonic took home the bragging rights “Album of the Year” for their 2021 smash effort, An Evening With Silk Sonic. Their member and Grammy Award-winning musician Bruno Mars accepted the award on behalf of the group as Anderson .Paak, who is currently oversea, could not make it. Mars thanked his team and the BET family for always supporting him, .Paak and now Silk Sonic. Congratulations.