The BEST 100 Entertainers & Innovators of the Year | Musicians

See who superseded our expectations.

BET 100| Musicians - The power of music is undeniable. It’s long been a tonic for what ails us and it has proven to be especially soothing to the soul in times like these. We are especially grateful for the phenoms who sat at pianos or in sound booths to create the perfect playlist for staying in the damn house. On top of that, many of our favorite artists used their voices and bank accounts to fight for the rights of the fans who adore them. —Written by Dustin Seibert  Plus, don't forget to check back each day this week to find out who else we've added to the BET 100 list...we're just getting started. (Photo by BET Digital Design/Getty)

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BET 100| Musicians - The power of music is undeniable. It’s long been a tonic for what ails us and it has proven to be especially soothing to the soul in times like these. We are especially grateful for the phenoms who sat at pianos or in sound booths to create the perfect playlist for staying in the damn house. On top of that, many of our favorite artists used their voices and bank accounts to fight for the rights of the fans who adore them. —Written by Dustin Seibert  Plus, don't forget to check back each day this week to find out who else we've added to the BET 100 list...we're just getting started. (Photo by BET Digital Design/Getty)

Roddy Ricch - Few artists of any genre have enjoyed a rise as meteoric as Compton, Calif.-born, Atlanta-raised rapper Roddy Ricch. The 22-year-old hit the scene with his first mixtape, Feed Tha Streets, in 2017 and has been on a tear ever since. He’s been nominated for three Grammys (winning one for his appearance on the late Nipsey Hussle’s “Racks in the Middle”) and earned 11 nominations on the 2020 BET Hip-Hop Awards alone. Between his earworm “The Box” and his guest appearance on DaBaby’s “Rockstar” single and video, you’ve heard from Ricch even if you don’t know you have. (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

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Roddy Ricch - Few artists of any genre have enjoyed a rise as meteoric as Compton, Calif.-born, Atlanta-raised rapper Roddy Ricch. The 22-year-old hit the scene with his first mixtape, Feed Tha Streets, in 2017 and has been on a tear ever since. He’s been nominated for three Grammys (winning one for his appearance on the late Nipsey Hussle’s “Racks in the Middle”) and earned 11 nominations on the 2020 BET Hip-Hop Awards alone. Between his earworm “The Box” and his guest appearance on DaBaby’s “Rockstar” single and video, you’ve heard from Ricch even if you don’t know you have. (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

D-Nice - While the pandemic ravaged our shores and we were stuck at home, confused, lonely and not sure what to do with our time, legendary rapper-producer D-Nice offered up the nation’s first hot COVID-19 gathering place with Club Quarantine. There he spun sets on Instagram Live for hours at a time from his home. In its purest beginning, hundreds of thousands of us congregated on our phones, “mingling” with celebrities and even a few politicians. Club Quarantine was an often-imitated, never-duplicated panacea for a locked-down, pre-George Floyd America, giving D-Nice, 50, arguably the best career renaissance hip-hop has ever seen. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images)

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D-Nice - While the pandemic ravaged our shores and we were stuck at home, confused, lonely and not sure what to do with our time, legendary rapper-producer D-Nice offered up the nation’s first hot COVID-19 gathering place with Club Quarantine. There he spun sets on Instagram Live for hours at a time from his home. In its purest beginning, hundreds of thousands of us congregated on our phones, “mingling” with celebrities and even a few politicians. Club Quarantine was an often-imitated, never-duplicated panacea for a locked-down, pre-George Floyd America, giving D-Nice, 50, arguably the best career renaissance hip-hop has ever seen. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images)

City Girls - If you have a kid born after 2005 and who uses TikTok, chances are you’ve at least heard something from Miami-based hip-hop duo City Girls. Yung Miami, 26, and JT, 27, released their second album, City on Lock, in 2020. The single “Flewed Out” became a viral catchphrase to describe getting on a plane and going places (when that was still easy to do). Among their high profile fans is former First Daughter Sasha Obama who went viral for a video rapping along to the group’s remix of Moneybagg Yo’s “Said Sum.” (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

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City Girls - If you have a kid born after 2005 and who uses TikTok, chances are you’ve at least heard something from Miami-based hip-hop duo City Girls. Yung Miami, 26, and JT, 27, released their second album, City on Lock, in 2020. The single “Flewed Out” became a viral catchphrase to describe getting on a plane and going places (when that was still easy to do). Among their high profile fans is former First Daughter Sasha Obama who went viral for a video rapping along to the group’s remix of Moneybagg Yo’s “Said Sum.” (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

Drake - Aubrey Graham exists in a perpetual state of divisiveness within the hip-hop community, which makes sense when you consider the Toronto native, 34, is arguably the biggest, most successful music star of the last decade. Not a year goes by where he doesn’t make a chart-topping song or engage in some high-profile beef. In 2020, Drake set a Billboard record for the most Hot 100 entries ever with his 21st No. 1, beating out Aretha Frankin and Stevie Wonder. He also beat Madonna out for the most top 10 singles in Billboard’s history. Not bad for the erstwhile Wheelchair Jimmy. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Drake - Aubrey Graham exists in a perpetual state of divisiveness within the hip-hop community, which makes sense when you consider the Toronto native, 34, is arguably the biggest, most successful music star of the last decade. Not a year goes by where he doesn’t make a chart-topping song or engage in some high-profile beef. In 2020, Drake set a Billboard record for the most Hot 100 entries ever with his 21st No. 1, beating out Aretha Frankin and Stevie Wonder. He also beat Madonna out for the most top 10 singles in Billboard’s history. Not bad for the erstwhile Wheelchair Jimmy. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Big Sean - The Detroit native has arguably garnered more attention throughout his 13-year hip-hop career for things that have nothing to do with his actual music—former relationships with Ariana Grande and the late Naya Rivera, his current (sexually charged) relationship with Jhené Aiko, his candor about his own mental health challenges, or his weak contract with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music. But at day’s end, Sean, 32, is a rapper; in 2020, he released Detroit 2, his sixth and best album to date. It’s rare to see career progression after so many years in the game, but Sean has proven he’s perfectly capable. (Photo by 2020HHA/Getty Images via Getty Images)

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Big Sean - The Detroit native has arguably garnered more attention throughout his 13-year hip-hop career for things that have nothing to do with his actual music—former relationships with Ariana Grande and the late Naya Rivera, his current (sexually charged) relationship with Jhené Aiko, his candor about his own mental health challenges, or his weak contract with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music. But at day’s end, Sean, 32, is a rapper; in 2020, he released Detroit 2, his sixth and best album to date. It’s rare to see career progression after so many years in the game, but Sean has proven he’s perfectly capable. (Photo by 2020HHA/Getty Images via Getty Images)

Cardi B - Cardi B has become a perennial mainstay in pop culture and has lasted longer in music than many people expected. Dead in the middle of the summer, she and Megan Thee Stallion came from out of nowhere with “WAP,” an acronym whose meaning we can’t print here, but even your grandmother has heard at this point. “WAP” became an instant bombshell of a track and video, and is the buzziest single of 2020 from any artist of any genre. (When you have conservative, Trump-supporting politicians hate-tweeting your music, you’ve arrived.). The track also made Cardi, 28, the only rapper to date to achieve chart-topping singles in two decades. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic)

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Cardi B - Cardi B has become a perennial mainstay in pop culture and has lasted longer in music than many people expected. Dead in the middle of the summer, she and Megan Thee Stallion came from out of nowhere with “WAP,” an acronym whose meaning we can’t print here, but even your grandmother has heard at this point. “WAP” became an instant bombshell of a track and video, and is the buzziest single of 2020 from any artist of any genre. (When you have conservative, Trump-supporting politicians hate-tweeting your music, you’ve arrived.). The track also made Cardi, 28, the only rapper to date to achieve chart-topping singles in two decades. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic)

Rapsody - This North Carolina native, 32, has spent years existing in a strange place in hip-hop: As an anachronism who seems to have been plucked straight from 1995, she’s never topped charts or clocked high sales in a rap zeitgeist that trends toward rap. But it’s guaranteed that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper is a Rapsody fan, and she has the Grammy nominations to prove that she belongs here. She took home Best Rapper in the 2020 BET Awards and no doubt she’ll start receiving more of the love afforded to her skilled male counterparts. (Photo by 2020HHA/Getty Images via Getty Images)

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Rapsody - This North Carolina native, 32, has spent years existing in a strange place in hip-hop: As an anachronism who seems to have been plucked straight from 1995, she’s never topped charts or clocked high sales in a rap zeitgeist that trends toward rap. But it’s guaranteed that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper is a Rapsody fan, and she has the Grammy nominations to prove that she belongs here. She took home Best Rapper in the 2020 BET Awards and no doubt she’ll start receiving more of the love afforded to her skilled male counterparts. (Photo by 2020HHA/Getty Images via Getty Images)

Beyoncé - Let’s be honest: Any list like this is incomplete without the Queen. Her The Lion King-inspired visual album Black is King, while not quite as impactful as Lemonade, had all the imagery we needed to make us feel better during a summer of COVID-19 and nationwide protests. It was 90 minutes of pure Black pride with Blue Ivy Carter providing all the looks. Bey, 39, also showed up with her checkbook this year, donating more than $1 million to the NAACP’s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund to help people affected by COVID-19 while also donating $6 million toward mental health charities. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

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Beyoncé - Let’s be honest: Any list like this is incomplete without the Queen. Her The Lion King-inspired visual album Black is King, while not quite as impactful as Lemonade, had all the imagery we needed to make us feel better during a summer of COVID-19 and nationwide protests. It was 90 minutes of pure Black pride with Blue Ivy Carter providing all the looks. Bey, 39, also showed up with her checkbook this year, donating more than $1 million to the NAACP’s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund to help people affected by COVID-19 while also donating $6 million toward mental health charities. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

Travis Scott - Who would’ve thought a year ago that we’d be seeing the name Travis Scott plastered across McDonald’s signs across the country? The Houston rapper, 29, who owned 2018 with his Astroworld album and the Drake-assisted “Sicko Mode” single also recently won a Latin Grammy for “TKN,” his collaboration with Rosalia. Scott has linked with the fast-food giant to release a limited-edition signature meal called the Cactus Jack. It’s basically a modified Quarter Pounder with Cheese. This is McDonald’s first celebrity collaboration since it teamed with Michael Jordan in 1992. The popularity of Cactus Jack pulled a Popeye’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich move and has worked quite a few restaurants into submission. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

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Travis Scott - Who would’ve thought a year ago that we’d be seeing the name Travis Scott plastered across McDonald’s signs across the country? The Houston rapper, 29, who owned 2018 with his Astroworld album and the Drake-assisted “Sicko Mode” single also recently won a Latin Grammy for “TKN,” his collaboration with Rosalia. Scott has linked with the fast-food giant to release a limited-edition signature meal called the Cactus Jack. It’s basically a modified Quarter Pounder with Cheese. This is McDonald’s first celebrity collaboration since it teamed with Michael Jordan in 1992. The popularity of Cactus Jack pulled a Popeye’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich move and has worked quite a few restaurants into submission. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

DaBaby - DaBaby clocks in with one of the best years of anyone on this list. His sophomore album Blame It on Baby was number one on the Billboard Hot 100, along with the inescapable single “Rockstar” with Roddy Ricch (see above). But the Charlotte, NC native, 28, also received attention for a serious matter you don’t often see from his contemporaries: He talked openly about his childhood sexual trauma, having been molested at age 5 by an adult woman. Such topics are often considered off-limits in the world of hip-hop machismo, so hopefully DaBaby paved the way for more men to feel comfortable sharing their stories. (Photo by Kevin Winter/MTV VMAs 2020/Getty Images for MTV)

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DaBaby - DaBaby clocks in with one of the best years of anyone on this list. His sophomore album Blame It on Baby was number one on the Billboard Hot 100, along with the inescapable single “Rockstar” with Roddy Ricch (see above). But the Charlotte, NC native, 28, also received attention for a serious matter you don’t often see from his contemporaries: He talked openly about his childhood sexual trauma, having been molested at age 5 by an adult woman. Such topics are often considered off-limits in the world of hip-hop machismo, so hopefully DaBaby paved the way for more men to feel comfortable sharing their stories. (Photo by Kevin Winter/MTV VMAs 2020/Getty Images for MTV)