BET Reveals Usher’s Lifetime Achievement Award Speech Was Muted Due to an ‘Audio Malfunction’

The network released a statement apologizing to the 'Yeah!' hitmaker for muting his speech.

Reading Time: 2 minute
Usher delivering his speech at the 2024 BET Awards
View gallery
Image Credit: Getty Images

Viewers who tuned into this year’s BET Awards noticed that Usher‘s Lifetime Achievement Award speech was mysteriously muted. Now, the network has apologized for the audio slip-up, calling it a “malfunction” in a new statement.

“Celebrating global icon Usher on our stage with a star-studded tribute and having him accept his award with a heartfelt speech was an honor,” the network said in its Monday, July 1, statement obtained by Entertainment Tonight. “Due to an audio malfunction during the LIVE telecast, portions of his speech were inadvertently muted. We extend our sincere apologies to Usher as we couldn’t be more grateful for his participation in Culture’s Biggest Night.”

BET added that everyone “can catch his full uninterrupted speech across BET platforms and tonight’s encore on BET.”

The award show aired on Sunday, June 30, and honored the “Yeah!” hitmaker toward the end of the ceremony with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Multiple artists took the stage to deliver tribute performances to Usher, including Keke Palmer, Coco Jones, Chloe Bailey and more.

At the beginning of his acceptance speech, Usher was censored after swearing, but the audio repeatedly went in and out. Only the audience was able to hear him that evening, and the “OMG” artist shared some emotional takeaways that he learned from life. In one portion of his speech, he told fans, “I had to live long enough in order to understand that you have to have a forgiving heart in order to understand the true pitfalls and hardships of a Black man in America.”

Usher also pointed out that his father — who was absent for most of his life — “made a lot of choices, and one that probably hurt and helped me at the same time was to stay away.”

“That’s part of the reason why I say this is the year of the father, where all the fathers have got to stand up for their sons and daughters and be the man that they need to be for them,” the “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” singer said. “You’ve got to be willing to forgive, y’all. … I’m telling you, you’re standing before a man who had to forgive a man who never showed up ever. And look what I made with it! Look what I was able to usher in. That’s what’s real. That’s what makes us human. That’s what makes us men and women. I thank you all.”