Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer pay tribute to Usher at 2024 BET Awards - Hindustan Times
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Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer pay tribute to Usher at 2024 BET Awards

AP |
Jul 01, 2024 08:59 AM IST

Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer pay tribute to Usher at 2024 BET Awards

Not long after taking home the trophy for best male R&B/pop artist, Usher was honored with the lifetime achievement award at the 2024 BET Awards.

Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer pay tribute to Usher at 2024 BET Awards
Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer pay tribute to Usher at 2024 BET Awards

Childish Gambino kicked off an all-star tribute to the R&B pop performer with “U Don't Have to Call,” joined by Keke Palmer, who took the lead on “You Make Me Wanna...” Coco Jones appeared in the audience for a sultry rendition of “There Goes My Baby," serenading Usher and his wife Jenn Goicoechea.

Summer Walker hit the stage for “Good Good,” Tinashe did “Nice & Slow,” Marsha Ambrosius tackled “Superstar” and Chlöe performed “Good Kisser.” Teyana Taylor — dressed like Usher — and Victoria Monét teamed up for “Bad Girl.” Latto brought the energy for “Yeah!” In some ways, it underscored the women that carried much of the night — dominating the performances.

Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam brought out L.A. Reid and Babyface to help them introduce Usher, who recalled a 14-year-old Usher auditioning with Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road" and stunning them with his talent then and there.

“Getting here has definitely not been easy, but it has been worth it,” Usher began his speech, reflecting on his career, which has spanned over three decades. He questioned if it was too early for him to receive the lifetime achievement award “because I’m still running and gunning and I still love this like I did when I was 8 years old,” he said.

“I forgive each and every person who had anything to say negative about me because it only motivated me to be who I am."

Earlier in the night, Will Smith stood in a circle of fire — joined by Fridayy and the gospel choir Sunday Service — to make the live debut of his latest single, “You Can Make It."

“I don’t know who needs this right now,” Smith opened his set. “But I am here to tell you, you can make it.”

Mid-way through, Kirk Franklin joined, and then two rapped together. “Nobody gets an easy ride,” Smith, who is in the midst of his comeback from slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars two years ago, told the room. “There is wisdom in that fire. Dance in your darkest moments.”

The forthcoming presidential election was a huge topic of conversation at Sunday’s show. After Childish Gambino presented Killer Mike with the album of the year award for “Michael,” the rapper used his acceptance speech to address his Grammys arrest and voting.

“Technically, I was not supposed to be here. I was put in handcuffs, and I was marched out of this building. But I want to tell you, look at God. ’Cause I’m back, baby. I’m back and I’m winning,” he said in his speech. Killer Mike was arrested at the Grammys earlier this year over a physical altercation he said was caused by an “over-zealous” security guard; he was not charged over the incident.

“They going to tell you who we vote for is important,” he continued his speech, “And it is who we vote for on the big stage. It’s important, but it’s more important you know who your city council person is, who your prosecutor is.”

Megan Thee Stallion opened the show by emerging from an egg — a metaphor for her a new musical rebirth — before diving into with an energetic medley of her new singles “Hiss" and “Boa.”

“BET, Where my girls at?" she said, shouting out Monét and Jones in the crowd before launching into “Where Them Girls At” — a track that's been an immediate fan favorite since Friday's release of her third studio album, “Megan.”

Taraji P. Henson hosted the show at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles. Her opening monologue was a performance, Henson rapping “It's about us,” in a loose parody of Kendrick Lamar's “Not Like Us,” which he released in the midst of his reignited feud with Drake.

“No beef in here tonight,” she joked, “Can we say plant-based?”

Tyla, the Johannesburg , South African amapiano superstar, won two honors on the show, starting with best international act.

Later in the night, she'd take home the award for best new artist. “This is crazy,” she said. “I just want to dedicate this one to Africa. I want to dedicate this one to all the African superstars before me that didn’t get these opportunities that I’m getting.”

Monét, who earlier this year won the Grammy for best new artist, made her BET debut and set a high bar for performances, condensing a full set into a few mins with three costume changes and a pair of songs, “On My Mama” and “Alright.”

Then Sexyy Red took the stage, performing her smooth bedroom ballad “U My Everything” before moving to another stage and a costume change — tackling “Get It Sexyy” in front of an LED screen depicting the White House and dancers dressed like the Secret Service.

The show took a tonal shift when VanVan and Heiress Harris, two child rappers, their empowerment anthem “Be You” in a school room set. Harris is the daughter of rapper T.I. and singer Tiny Harris.

Best female R&B/pop artist went to SZA and best actress went to Regina King, both of whom were not in attendance; the BET HER award went to Monét for “On My Mama.” She brought her mother up to accept it.

Latto held wine and lounged on a chaise lounge before jumping up during “Big Mama”; Tyla performed “Jump” from a lion’s cage, joined by Gunna and Skillibeng. Ice Spice launched into “Phat Butt” into “Think U The S - ” from her forthcoming debut full-length, “Y2K.”

For more coverage of this year’s BET Awards, visit /hub/bet-awards

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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