The 2018 BET Awards are one for the books, with brilliant performances, surprise winners and unforgettable moments. We’ve got pics of all of the highlights, right here.
What a night! The 2018 BET Awards definitely delivered when it came to blazing performances and unpredictable moments. The host with the most Jamie Foxx, 50, kept the three-hour ceremony moving along with plenty of humor yet some occasional cringeworthy moments. He dragged actor Michael B. Jordan onstage to deliver the line from his mega hit film Black Panther the film about how for slaves, death was better than bondage. Jamie later brought up Donald Glover unexpectedly and tried to uncomfortably get the Childish Gambino artist to sing his hit “This Is America” a capella on the spot.
The show featured powerul live performances from the likes of J. Cole, with an assist from Wale and Daniel Cesar. Very blinged out Migos members crushed it with to hits “Walk It” and “Stir Fry.” Miguel gave a sizzling performance of “Come Though and Chill,” then Nicki Minaj burned the place down with “Chun Li.” Then she brought on YG, 2 Chainz and Big Sean as her special gusts for “Big Bank.” Umm, way to own the night queen! Soulful singer H.E.R. proved to be one of the brightest new stars in R&B in her first BET Awards peformance.
Soulful crooner Anita Baker received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 60-year-old ruled the charts in the mid to late 80s with hits like “Sweet Love” and “Giving You The Best That I’ve Got.” She got a heartfelt introduction from Tyler Perry, with a taped tribute that included gushing praise from stars like Mary J. Blige. Host Jamie serenaded her from a piano onstage with her biggest hits alongside a host of soul and gospel divas — including Yolanda Adams — while Anita took it in with pride from the front row. Antia retired from singing in 2017, but loved hearing her catalogue played live.
The show made heartfelt honors to six heroes with humanitarian awards that spanned all ages and the globe. John Legend recognized James Shaw Jr., who disarmed a mass shooter in a suburban Nashville, TN Waffle House on Apr. 22; National Student Walk-Out Day participant Justin Blackman who was the only student to stand up and take to protest at his school; 11-year-old March for Our Lives speaker Naomi Wadler, who called on justice for women victims of gun violence; Parkland school shooting survivor Anthony Borges, journalist Shaun King and Malian immigrant Mamoudou Gassama, who heroically climbed up the facade of a Parisian apartment building to save a 4-year-old who was dangling off the side. He was recognized for his amazing and superhuman life saving efforts.
Next up was the triumphant return of Meek Mill, 31, in his first major awards show performance since getting released from prison in April after serving 5 months into a 2-4 year sentence for a minor probation violation. He’s become a national symbol for criminal justice reform and his performance included a heartbreaking re-enactment of a young child being shot and his grieving mother mourning over him. Moving stuff! Snoog Dogg celebrated the 25 year release of his classic breakout album Doggy Style to close out the show on a light note with a medley of his iconic hits. We’ve got all the hottest show moments in pics in our gallery, right here.