BY RICARDO A. HAZELL
The 2015 BET Awards shaped up to be very best in a five-year stretch of very good BET Awards shows.
As is often the case, the very best stars in the Black pantheon of entertainment elite, as well as transracially affiliated White artists, were in attendance to a BET Awards that was expertly hosted by the comic styling of Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson of the hit ABC comedy “Black-ish.”
From the very beginning, the duo successfully and seamlessly segue between silly skits, award presentation and snappy repartee in between performances by P. Diddy, Lil’ Kim and the rest of Bad Boy, The Weeknd and Alicia Keyes, Big Sean, Chris Brown, Nikki Minaj and Meek Mills, as well as French Montana, Patti LaBelle and many more.
The legendary MC Lyte used her signature vocals to punctuate the evening’s festivities as the lead announcer as well.
Despite the great performance turned in by Diddy, there were quite a few chuckles as he fell through an opening in the stage. However, the saying is the show must go on, and he continued on in true showmanship fashion without a hitch.
Speech by Smokey
“Empire” was definitely in the house as Jussie Smollett, Yazz and Serayah performed as well.
Meanwhile, Smokey Robinson shut ‘em all down with a speech that both admonished younger performers for their narcissism, but uplifted them for their talents as well.
Sam Smith won the BET Award for Best New Artist. But Anderson accepted the award in his place wearing a hysterical toupee based upon the crooner’s actual hairstyle.
Michael B. Jordan, star of summer blockbuster hopeful “The Fantastic Four,’’ gave a rousing tribute to those who fell to police brutality, as well as acknowledgement of those who have fought White supremacy from Ferguson, North Charleston, Los Angeles, New York and all places in between. This is significant seeing as though the absence of such overtures on other shows drew the ire of the Black digital illuminate.
Icon Award for Jackson
Homage to Janet Jackson performed by Tinashe, Jason Derulo, Ciara and was capped by an appearance by Ms. Jackson herself to accept the Ultimate Icon Award.
As usual, there were naturally many different individuals in the media and in the blogosphere as well who felt the BET Awards haven’t changed one bit. However, I can recall a time of industry tensions among artists, rampant beef on wax and behind the scenes, horrid performances and an all around adversarial atmosphere between new and old artists.
This award show was filled with love, stellar performances and tributes to the greats. But whether one enjoyed it or not, it’s still about entertainment. Were you not amused? All and all, we ain’t mad at the 2015 BET Awards.